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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mathura/Lucknow, March 20, 2013
An extortion bid by policemen in Mathura’s Shergarh area claimed a life on Tuesday and resulted in a clash between the police and villagers. Four people were critically injured, following which a station officer, a sub-inspector and five constables were suspended. Villagers said an overloaded tractor, carrying husk, had been stopped at the Naujheel border by the police, who were demanding money to let it pass. When the driver refused to pay, the policemen allegedly used force. In the melee, one Jeetu, who was sitting on the tractor, fell and was crushed by an approaching vehicle. He died before he could receive medical help, said one of the locals.

As the news spread, enraged villages gathered at the Shergarh police station and tried to set it on fire. The panic-stricken policemen allegedly opened fire, in which four men were injured. They have been admitted in a hospital in Agra, where their condition is said to be critical.

“The allegations of extortion by the police are yet to be verified,” said senior superintendent of police Mathura, Pradeep Yadav. But in Lucknow, IG (law and order) RK Vishwakarma confirmed that some unidentified constables were extorting money from tractor drivers near Naujheel border.

The state government has announced a magisterial inquiry into the matter.