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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Man lynched over suspicion of stealing, killing peacocks

As many as 10 people of the Gurjar community of Lasudia Atari village have been named in an FIR lodged at Kukdeshwar police station, of whom nine have been arrested.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2019 10:42 IST
Mustafa Hussain
Mustafa Hussain
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Superintendent of police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said Ambalal Gurjar, a resident of the village allegedly spotted four persons speeding away on bikes with peacocks.
Superintendent of police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said Ambalal Gurjar, a resident of the village allegedly spotted four persons speeding away on bikes with peacocks. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
         

A 55-year-old man was allegedly lynched by a mob in Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh on Friday night for allegedly stealing and killing peacocks, police officials familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

As many as 10 people of the Gurjar community of Lasudia Atari village have been named in an FIR lodged at Kukdeshwar police station, of whom nine have been arrested.

An FIR has also been registered against the dead man and three others for stealing and killing peacocks, according to Rakesh Gupta, inspector general of police, Ujjain Range.

Superintendent of police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said Ambalal Gurjar, a resident of the village allegedly spotted four persons speeding away on bikes with peacocks.

“Gurjar tried to stop them. Three of them managed to escape while Heeralal Bachhda, 55, was caught. Gurjar called others. Bachhda was beaten up with canes and his bike was set afire by the villagers.

“The villagers called the police and claimed that four dead peacocks were recovered from his possession. Bachhda was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries,” Sagar said.

The dead man’s brother, Bansilal Bacchda, filed a police complaint against Ambalal Gurjar and nine others, based on which the FIR was registered.

The 10 people have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under various sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the SP said.

Sagar said the Bachhda community has long been accused of killing peacocks by poisoning them. “The villagers said they had warned the Bachhdas many times but they continued to kill peacocks to eat the meat. We are also trying to get details of previous cases, if any,” he said.

The SP said the police had recovered four dead peacocks from the deceased and, on the complaint of villagers, lodged an FIR under IPC Section 379 (punishment for theft) and under sections 9 and 51 of The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 against four persons, including the deceased Heeralal Bachhda as well as Bansilal Bacchda, Pappu Bacchda, and Rahul Bacchda.

Bansilal Bachhda alleged, “The villagers hate our community. They blame us for every crime committed in the village. I don’t know what is the truth of Friday night as I was not there.”

BJP leader Rajendra Shukla said, “The law and order situation has collapsed in MP. The government is busy in transfers and postings of officers and employees, including those from the police department. Fear of law has ceased to exist in the mind of criminals.”

Chief minister Kamal Nath said, “The state government is very serious about these unlawful activities. The government is coming up with a strict law against mob lynching.”

On Wednesday, the government tabled an amendment bill in the state assembly for punishment to those who indulge in violence in the name of cow vigilantism.

In a separate incident in Aakalpur in Raisen district, a 50-year-old man was beaten up on Thursday evening on the suspicion that he was a “child lifter”, police said.

The man, identified as Uttar Pradesh resident Sheshnag, died at a community health centre on Friday.

Superintendent of police Raisen Monika Shukla said, “There was no complaint that the man was involved in child lifting. The doctors verbally said he died of a cardiac arrest but we are waiting for the post-mortem report to decide what action should be taken.”

First Published: Jul 21, 2019 01:14 IST