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Mob attacks cops in Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur town for alleged misbehaviour with Sikh driver

The 39-year-old driver from Ferozepur in Punjab was arrested for preventing a public servant from doing his duty and assault, but was later released on bail on Saturday,

india Updated: Mar 30, 2019 20:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand,Rudrapur,Mob violence
A mob gathers outside a gurudwara in Rudrapur in Uttarakhand after the police’s efforts to stop a Sikh truck driver in a no-entry zone escalated into violence. (HT PHOTO)

Tension gripped Rudrapur town of Udham Singh Nagar district on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday after a mob attacked policemen, accusing them of misbehaving with a Sikh truck driver who was stopped from entering a no-entry zone in the town late Friday evening.

The 39-year-old Punjab-based Sikh driver was arrested for preventing a public servant from doing his duty and assault, but was later released on bail on Saturday, senior police officials with knowledge of the matter said.

Police however, denied any misbehaviour with the accused, Satnam Singh, a resident of Ferozepur, Punjab.

“The incident happened on Friday evening at around 8.30, when the accused Singh entered a no-entry zone at DD Chowk area of the town with his chemical-laden tanker,” said Circle officer, Rudrapur, Himanshu Shah, who was present on the spot.

“As it was a no-entry zone, the traffic police present there asked him to stop but he didn’t. He was then chased by personnel of City Patrolling Unit (CPU) of district police and made him stop the vehicle. After stopping him, they asked him to show the vehicle’s papers which he refused to do,” said Shah.

“The accused then himself put his turban inside the vehicle and took out his sword to chase the policemen on the highway,” Shah said.

“The allegation of police disrespecting the accused’s turban is completely wrong as he himself took off his turban and put it in his tanker. Police have video evidence of the same,” said director general, law & order, Ashok Kumar.

Police tried to nab him and take the sword from his hand but failed.

“On being chased by the accused they then called for help from Kotwali police station. By then the mob had also gathered on the road in support of the accused and started alleging the police of disrespecting his turban which was totally wrong,” he added. Superintendent of police (SP), crime, Pramod Kumar, reached the spot to pacify the crowd, but was allegedly manhandled by the mob.

“While he was trying to control the situation, someone from the mob attacked him and his armed personal guard. It was then the guard fired a round in the air to push them back,” said Shah adding that the police then resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

Kumar said, “The mob was dispersed and the situation was defused completely by 4am (on Saturday). The accused was later arrested and his tanker was seized by police.”

“At least three other policemen including me sustained minor injuries in the incident. A police vehicle was also damaged by the accused and the mob,” he added.

First Published: Mar 30, 2019 20:38 IST