OVER 250 villagers ransacked a petrol pump at Neelbad after the pump owner fired in air on Wednesday.
The local residents had complained that the fuel dispensed at the petrol pump was adulterated following which a team of company and food department officials had reached there for sampling.
As villagers gathered at the petrol pump to see the officials taking fuel samples, petrol pump owner Pradeep Shukla reached there in his car.
Police sources said some villagers made comments about the quality of petrol. Hearing this, Shukla took out his licenced revolver and allegedly fired a shot in the air.
This angered the villagers who then attacked the petrol pump. The police, somehow, managed to whisk Shukla away.
Meanwhile, villagers ransacked the petrol pump and broke the machines. Shukla’s car was also damaged in the attack. The residents then stoned the petrol pump.
There was also an attempt to set the pump afire but police foiled the bid. A strong police force had to be rushed to the site. The situation was, subsequently, brought under control.
Ratibad police have registered a case against Shukla for obstructing public servants from discharging their duties and for endangering the life and safety of others.
Later, representatives of petrol pump associations and dealers reached the spot. They threatened to close all petrol pumps in the capital and demanded the arrest of those who instigated the local residents.
A case has been registered against Badri Prasad Chaukse, Rajesh Maran, Mastan Maran and others for rioting and damaging the petrol pump.
A BJP leader has also complained to the company and food department officials regarding fuel adulteration at Savitri Petrol Pump, Neelbad (near Ratibad) for a long time. Further investigations are on.
Dealers call off srike
THE PETROL pump dealers went on a lightning strike at 4.30 pm on Wednesday after the ransacking of a petrol pump at Ratibad but called it off at 9.30 pm. The dealers called off the strike after the police rounded up three persons involved in the alleged ransacking of the said petrol pump.
“We called the strike as a protest and demanded arresting of the accused persons. Since three out of the five have been arrested by the police, we’ve called off the strike,” said Bhopal Petroleum Dealers’ Association president Ajay Singh to Hindustan Times. Reacting to the incident, he described the entire episode as ‘ill-motivated’. “The person behind the incident is a contractor having the BJP backing, with an anti-social background.
As usual, he asked for credit and after it was refused by the petrol pump he motivated the nearby villagers to attack by rumouring about adulterated fuel,” Singh alleged.
He added that the laboratory reports have confirmed that there was no adulteration in fuel.
Fill More staff attacked
FIVE YOUTHS armed with swords and rods attacked the staff at Fill More Petrol Pump on Link Road number 1near New Market on Wednesday evening.
The accused had been refused petrol owing to the strike by petrol pumps in the State capital. Angered by the same, the unidentified youths returned in an auto-rickshaw sometime later and ransacked the pump. They barged into the cabin and smashed all glasses. The manager was assaulted and other employees bashed up.
Later, they fled the spot. Efforts were on to identity them. Police suspect the accused had come from Ahata Kalla Shah. A case has been registered in the police station concerned and inquiry is on.