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Van mows down cop in Jharkhand, 1 arrested

By, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Jul 21, 2022 02:43 AM IST

According to the police, the incident took place near Hulhundu village under Tupudana police station limits around 3 am on Wednesday, when sub-inspector Sandhya Topno (in her late 20s and an officer of 2018 batch) tried to stop a vehicle that was being tracked from neighbouring Kunti district for checking.

A woman sub-inspector on night patrolling duty was allegedly mowed down by a pick-up van reportedly carrying cattle as she was trying to stop it for checking on the outskirts of Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, officials said on Wednesday.

Sub-inspector Sandhya Topno was mowed down when she tried to stop a vehicle that was being tracked from neighbouring Kunti district for checking. (ANI)

According to the police, the incident took place near Hulhundu village under Tupudana police station limits around 3 am on Wednesday, when sub-inspector Sandhya Topno (in her late 20s and an officer of 2018 batch) tried to stop a vehicle that was being tracked from neighbouring Kunti district for checking.

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“As Sandhya, in presence of two other constables, tried to stop the vehicle, it ran over the officer killing her on the spot,” a senior police officer said. “She was immediately taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences but she succumbed to her injuries on way to the hospital,” Tupudana police station in charge Kanhaiya Singh told PTI.

The police chased the vehicle, a Mahindra pick-up van, which overturned in Ranchi an hour later. The driver was arrested while another person in the vehicle managed to escape, the officer added.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Nigaar Khan, has been taken into custody and is being questioned, said Kishore Kaushal, senior superintendent of police, Ranchi.

“We received information from the neighbouring Khunti district about the vehicle that was being tracked from Gumla district. Based on the input, our team led by sub-inspector Sandhya was on the road to intercept the vehicle,” said Kaushal. “But the vehicle mowed her down. She was taken to a hospital, where she was declared brought dead.”

The vehicle has been taken into custody, the SSP said. “One more person was present inside the vehicle, for whom a continuous search is on. Efforts will be made to complete the investigation quickly and get the guilty punished with a speedy trial,” he added.

Ranchi city superintendent of police Anshuman Kumar told PTI that prima facie the matter seems to be a case of cattle smuggling.

However, the incident sparked a political slugfest with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hitting out at the chief minister Hemant Soren-led government accusing it of giving “free hand to smugglers due to vote bank politics”.

Demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the incident, BJP national vice-president and former chief minister Raghubar Das claimed that incidents of cow smuggling have risen since Hemant Soren came to power in the state.

“The morale of criminals has gone up to an extent where even police personnel are not safe in this state. The cow smugglers have gone unchecked under the Hemant Soren government,” alleged Das. “I fear that this case will also go Rupa Tirkey way as it is related to this government’s vote bank politics.”

Sub-inspector Rupa Tirkey was found dead in her official residence in Sahibganj on May 3 last year. CBI is probing the case.

Defending the state government and police, Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan said the BJP was making irresponsible statements. “The police have already arrested one of the accused and investigation is on. The police will ensure speedy trial in the case,” said Ranjan.

“The BJP should remember that this government is not like theirs (BJP’s), under whose regime murders took place right outside the CM residence,” he added, referring to an incident from 2018, when a man was shot dead on Karke road, metres away from the CM residence.

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