The anguish in Dalit community in the region over the Kherlangi massacre refuses to die down as thousands of agitating protesters went on the rampage through the Amravati city, some 150 kms from here on Tuesday, smashing shops windows, looting goods, trashing vehicles, set afire government offices and overturning street-vendors stalls.
According to reports reaching here this evening, at least 25 people, including seven police personnel were injured when the crowd turned violent. All the injured were rushed to the government run district hospital, where three of them, were reported to be very serious.
The crowd that gathered at Collectorate this after noon under the banner of Dalit Action Committee went berserk when its leaders had been to district collector office to submit a memorandum on the Kherlangi episode. The violent mob stormed almost all the government offices in the Amravati Camp area, including Zilla Parishad, Anti-Corruption Bureau and the state Treasury Office and tried set afire the furniture and office documents, leading to a free-for-all situation. They had also ablaze parked vehicles in the area, including the police water tanker.
Stones rained down from the protesters on the cops for over two hours. The police initially tried to stop the crowd by resorting to the lathi charge. However it did hardly any impact. Instead, the crowd indulged in heavy stone pelting. At least ten police personnel, including the Assistant Police Commissioner of the city, Prabhakar Rahane and police inspector, Kiran Dhote, were injured grievously.
When cane charge failed to disperse the crowd, the police lobbed teargas shells. This also failed to disperse them. As the crowd attacked the police with stones and bricks, the latter retaliated by firing in the air to disperse the mob. One protester, Nishikant Ramrao Harne, was seriously injured in the police firing. He is now battling with life in the hospital, reports said.
Tension prevailed in the entire city even as the district administration pressed the state reserve police forces into the service to prevent any untoward incident. However, Jagan Nath, the police commissioner of Amravati city, claimed that massive security reinforcements and preventive arrests helped contain the trouble while talking to Hindustan Times. “The situation is now totally under control,” he added.
The wife of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, his daughter and two sons were brutally killed by villagers at Kherlangi in Amravati district in September when they refused to build a road through their fields. This had led to the violent fallout on the streets of Nagpur and elsewhere in the region. Protestors were demanding stern action against the killers of Bhotmange family and a CBI probe into the incident.
The state Government announced a financial aid of Rs 12.5 lakh to lone survivor Bhaiyyalal and offered a government job to him.