Two accused of arson tied to pole, beaten up in MP’s Bundelkhand
When the police reached the spot, they also joined in to beat one of the suspects.india Updated: Mar 25, 2018 18:36 IST
Two Scheduled Caste persons suspected of setting a grocery shop on fire in Bundelkhand’s Chhatarpur were allegedly tied to an electric pole and thrashed by villagers. When the police reached the spot, they also joined in to beat one of the suspects. Senior police officials defended the action of their personnel, saying they took a decision on the spot to pacify irate villagers and prevent the situation from taking an uglier turn.
The incident occurred at Dhamna village under Chandranagar police outpost limits on Saturday. A purported video clip of the assault was circulated on social media. HT could not independently verify the authenticity of the video, which police are scrutinising.
Police said according to villagers, on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, the grocery shop of Govind Patel caught fire. Villagers tried to put out the fire, but failed as the shop was made of wood and wheat husk.
After the shop was destroyed, villagers started searching for Punnu Ahirwar and Chota Ahirwar, whom they accused of having started the fire. After locating both, the villagers tied them to an electric pole and then assaulted them, police said.
Police reached the spot and thrashed one of the suspects before taking both into custody.
Chandranagar police outpost sub-inspector AK Jha said, “Had the police not used the baton against the suspects, the situation could have taken an uglier turn. The angry villagers could have done anything to the two suspects. Who would have been responsible then?”
Jha said a case under Indian Penal Code sections 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) and 427 (mischief causing damage) was filed against Punnu Ahirwar and Chota Ahirwar. “The shop owner and these two accused have an old enmity and this incident seems to be a result of that,” he said.
Chhatarpur superintendent of police Vineet Khanna said he ordered an inquiry into the villagers beating up the two suspects. “After the report comes, action will be taken against those guilty of having taken the law into their own hands,” he said.