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2 killed, one injured in clash between police, residents of Mansa village

Two persons were killed and two others, including a police official, injured in a clash between the police and residents of Akalia village in Mansa district here on Tuesday.

punjab Updated: Jul 25, 2012 02:51 IST
Bharat Khanna
Bharat Khanna
Hindustan Times

Two villagers died here on Tuesday after the police fired tear-gas shells to disperse a mob which caught a vehicle thief but refused to hand him over to the cops.

Trouble started when villagers spotted two persons with a stolen motorcycle. They caught Karamvir Singh (22), son of a police official posted at Budhlada, but his accomplice managed to escape. The mob not only beat up the accused but also prevented the police from taking him to the civil hospital in an ambulance. Assistant sub-inspector Raghbir Singh was injured in a scuffle with villagers.

When the policemen failed to handle the situation, a quick reaction team was pressed into service. Mansa deputy commissioner Amit Dhaka, subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Ravinder Sharma, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harpreet Singh and other police officials also reached the village, located about 20 km from Mansa town.

Around 5:30pm, irate villagers started hurling stones at the ambulance, following which the police fired tear-gas shells. Preetam Singh (50) and Neetu Singh (18) died on the spot, while Prem Singh Lohgarh was injured.

The latter was admitted to the Mansa civil hospital. Villagers claimed that a total of eight persons were injured in police action. The mob also burnt a police official’s private vehicle. Akalia sarpanch Kaku Singh said, “Thefts are being regularly reported at the local police station. On Tuesday, we caught a thief and thrashed him, but another fled from the spot.”

Talking to HT, Joga SHO (station house officer) Darshan Singh confirmed the death of two villagers. “The mob refused to hand over the accused. We brought an ambulance to take Karamvir to the hospital, but villagers pelted it with stones”

Deputy commissioner Amit Dhaka said, “The police used tear-gas shells to control the situation. Two villagers were killed and another was injured. A police official was also hurt.” Superintendent of police (detective) Ranveer Singh claimed that a group of villagers started throwing stones at cops, forcing the police to take drastic action. No FIR had been registered in the case till the filing of this report. Villagers took the two bodies to the Mansa-Barnala road and staged a dharna.

SIT formed
The blockade was lifted after a special investigation team (SIT) was formed to probe the matter. The SIT is headed by Bathinda zone director general of police (DIG) Pramod Ban and includes Ferozepur SSP Hardyal Singh Mann and Jalalabad DSP Sulakhan Singh.

Talking to HT, Bathinda zone inspector general of police (IGP) Nirmal Singh Dhillon said, “We were about to take the accused to the police station along with five prominent villagers when a group of local residents started pelting the cops with stones. In retaliation, the police fired tear-gas shells. No bullets were fired.”

He said ex gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh would be given to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured. “Strict action will be taken against those found guilty,” Dhillon added.

First Published: Jul 24, 2012 18:48 IST