Neeraj Pradhan, a resident of Chithera village, who had been on a fast since June 28 to protest alleged police atrocities, decided to break his fast on Saturday morning after he received assurance from the district administration of a probe into the matter.
According to Pradhan, he and around 150 villagers were caned by the police on June 28 after they protested against the electricity department and demanded regular power supply to their village.
In his written complaint to the district magistrate, Pradhan had demanded action against Dadri police station inspector Jitendra Kalra and a junior engineer from the electricity department.
Pradhan had been on a fast since June 28 for his demands. After his health deteriorated on Friday, district magistrate NP Singh had asked doctors at the district hospital in Sector 30, where was admitted last Sunday, to force feed Pradhan.
However, on Saturday morning, additional district magistrate (ADM) of revenue and finance Rajesh Yadav, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Rajesh Singh and circle officer Anurag Singh met Pradhan and assured him of a probe against the officials concerned.
“I have asked the executive engineer to probe the allegations of corruption in the electricity department. Regarding charges of atrocities by the police against the villagers, superintendent of police (rural) Abhishek Yadav and I will investigate the matter. Action to be taken will be decided after the probe,” said ADM Rajesh Yadav, the ADM.
Hundreds of villagers of Chithera and adjoining villages had held a mahapanchayat in support of Pradhan on Friday and demanded action against the policemen concerned. A few villagers had also begun a hunger strike in solidarity with Pradhan.
“I would like to thank the villagers, civil society and local media for continuously supporting me throughout my agitation. Finally, the administration has woken up and heard our plea,” Pradhan said on Saturday.
“Since the authorities have promised us action, we have suspended the collective hunger strike. But we will continue our agitation against corrupt officials of the electricity department,” said Rajeev Singhal, president of Rashtriya Yuva Lok Manch, an NGO based in Dadri.