An irate mob torched six vehicles in Jharkhand’s Hazaribag district after a boy was killed during a clash between members of two communities.
Protesters also blocked National Highway No 2 near Barhi – GT road, demanding R 5 lakh in compensation for the family of the teenager besides action against culprits under Mob Lynching Act 2021. However the blockade was lifted late in the day after repeated requests by the authorities .
Rupesh Kumar Pandey, 17, died after being assaulted on Sunday evening at Kariyadpur village in Barhi police station area of the district during immersion procession after Saraswati Puja, Hazaribag Superintendent of Police.
READ: CBI deputes new team to probe Jharkhand judge murder case
“A named FIR has been lodged against 27 persons besides many unknown people. So far four arrests have been made while a hunt is on for others. Prohibitory orders under section 144 has been imposed in Barhi.
“Adequate deployment of forces have been done to maintain law and order,” Superintendent of Police, Hazaribag Manoj Ratan Chothe told PTI.
The youth was allegedly assaulted near Dulmuha Devi Mandap resulting in his death at Sub Divisional Hospital, Barhi where he was taken in an unconscious condition.
After the killing, an angry mob torched five two-wheelers and one four wheeler at the spot.
Chothe, however, insisted that the clash was a fallout of an “old rivalry” and no communal ill-will was involved in it.
“One person was thrashed and another killed during the fight. Incidentally, both of them belonged to two different communities. The police are looking into the matter,” the SP told PTI.
Given the communally sensitive nature of the district, internet services have been debarred in the district as also in Koderma, Giridih, Chatra, Ramgarh and Bokaro for the time being to prevent rumour-mongering, Chothe said.
He also said the situation at Kariyadpur village was under control.
Some people are trying to link the incident with Sunday’s idol immersion ceremony of Goddess Saraswati, the procession for which was taken out just 30 minutes before the clash broke out, but the two are not connected, the SP maintained.
Both the SP and the Deputy Commissioner, Hazaribag, Aditya Kumar Anand are camping at the spot.
The relatives of the boy have demanded action under the provisions of the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, which aims at providing “effective protection” of constitutional rights of people and the prevention of mob violence.
The Hazaribag district administration has announced an immediate compensation of Rs 20,000 to the kin besides lifetime pension of Rs 6,000 each to the mother and the father of the boy.
Meanwhile BJP Vice President and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das demanded immediate arrest of all the culprits charging that such incidents have increased manifold during the current Hemant Soren regime.
Those named in the FIR include Md Aslam, Md Anis, Md Kaif, Md Gufran, Md Chand, Md Osama, Md Ehtam, Md Nahid.
All the shops under Barhi police station area besides other commercial establishments remained closed to protest the killing.
Work in banks and other institutions was impacted due to internet disconnection.
Officials said internet services will be restored in North Chotanagpur Division after permission from the state Home Department.
Situation continues to be tense but under control, officials said.