Thursday, August 22, 2002

Three Dalits brutally murdered

LUCKNOW: In a gory incident, three Dalits including a 12-year-old boy, belonging to the Pasi community, were found brutally murdered on the banks of Sharda Sahayak Nahar at Balsingh Khera village in Nagram, 40 km from the city on Wednesday.

The victims, who had gone fishing, were done to death with sharp-edged weapons, probably on Tuesday night. The incident, suspected be the handiwork of a criminal tribe, left the villagers in a state of shock and agitated. Their anger was directed at the police whom they blamed for inaction and apathy. Senior police officials who rushed to the spot came up against an angry mob of hundreds of villagers. Many had come from neighbouring villages as well.

CM Mayawati acted quickly. She summoned senior police officials including DIG, IG, DM and SSP to apprise herself with the incident. The station officer Nagram OP Singh has been sent to lines. A PAC company and additional police force has been deployed in the area. A compensation of Rs 10,000 each for the next of kin of the deceased has been announced by the government.

Ramharsh (35) son of Barati, Raghuveer (20) son of Rambali and Sanjay (12) son of Raj Narain had gone fishing, an important means of livelihood for the people in the area, on Tuesday night. After casting their nets, the three had dinner at about 8.30 pm and went to sleep. When they did not return in the morning, Raghuveer's brother went to the site only to find his brother and others dead. Shell-shocked he ran back to the village and informed everyone about the incident.

The news spread like wildfire and soon hundreds of villagers from adjoining localities assembled at the spot. Two constables on beat patrol were chased away by the angry mob, when the came to find out details about the incident. No other official reached the spot till 7.40 am. Senior officers, including district magistrate, additional district magistrate, inspector general of police and SSP rushed to the spot. Finger-print experts and sniffer dogs were used. But police were clueless. Villagers, however, claimed that they had seen 7-8 outsiders entering the village in the night. They were in two Maruti cars and two motorcycles. This was confirmed by the villagers of the neighbouring Karora village.

Locals claimed that they had informed the Nagram police station about the outsiders and had complained about the terror being created by the criminal tribes in the locality. But the police have never taken these complaints seriously saying they were rumours. Later, while talking to mediapersons SSP Anil Agarwal admitted that the station officer Nagram and other staff were found guilty of indifference. The common refrain of the people was that despite their repeated complaints, night patrolling was never done by the local police.

Source: The Times of India, August 22, 2002

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