Angry farmers ransacked Mahuli police station in Sant Kabir Nagar district (250 km east of Lucknow) on Friday. Six farmers were injured when the cops deployed at the police station opened fire to disperse the mob.
The condition of three persons is stated to be critical and they have been admitted to the BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur. Three cops also sustained injury in the brick batting by the villagers.
At 11 am today when the farmers were busy harvesting the wheat crop, fire broke out suddenly in the field of one Bhalchandra. The villagers tried to control the fire but strong westerly winds negated their effort. Soon the fire spread to the neighbouring fields.
Panicky farmers rushed to the Mahuli police station located 500 meters from the village and urged the SHO Shri Prakash Yadav to rush the fire tenders to control the fire. The fire tenders arrived at the spot after one hour, by when standing crop over 400 bigha land was destroyed.
Soon large number of villagers assembled at the field. After condemning the cops for their inactivity, they marched to the police station and sat on a "dharna". A farmer Ashraf said four days back standing crop over 50 bigha land was destroyed in the fire. Earlier too, the police personnel remained mute spectators to the plight of the farmers.
“Though fire tenders were available at the tehsil headquarter located 20 km from the village yet no message was sent by the police station. The farmers managed to control the fire by diverting the water from the nearby tube well”, said Shyamsunder, a farmer.
As the dharna continued, a group of irate villagers started pelting stone over the police station. Gauging the angry mood of the villagers the police personnel rushed inside and closed the doors. Soon the mob entered the police station and broke the main door. They broke the furniture as the cops fled to protect themselves from the fury of the mob.
The SHO was trapped inside the police station. According to an eye witness, the SHO opened fire to disperse the mob and five farmers including Fiday Mohammad, Bhalchnadra, Ramsahay, Nizamuddin, Makhchandu and Bhakalu sustained bullet injuries. The firing infuriated the villagers and they ransacked the residential complex located in the premises of the police station.
Talking to HT, superintendent of police Sant Kabir Nagar, Sugriv Giri said fire has broken out at five spots in the district simultaneously. We have only two fire tenders and both were sent to Bakhira village. The fire tenders arrived at Mahuli village late and delay triggered resentment among the villagers. He claimed that police opened fire over the farmers in self defence.
The divisional commissioner Anil Kumar said the attack on the police station and residential complex was pre planned. “The district administration would identify the culprits and action would be taken against them”, he said.