May 22, 2021 5:59:23 am
The newly elected, first-time pradhan (head) of Pargawan village in Bareilly district was shot dead in the Cantonment area on Thursday evening, officials said on Friday. Two political rivals who lost the election to Mohammad Ishaq, the victim, were among those named in an FIR. One of them detained along with his son on Friday.
The police said Ishaq, his wife Shakina and younger sister Sheeba Rani were returning home on a motorcycle when gunmen fired at them. Ishaq was shot thrice and he died on the spot while his wife received pellet injuries. She was rushed to a hospital where doctors provided medical aid and discharged her. Sheeba was unhurt.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (Bareilly City) Ravindra Kumar said the victim’s family alleged that after Ishaq won the election, former village heads Mohar Singh and Ratan Lal frequently threatened him. The two are neighbours. Apart from them, the FIR also names Mohar Singh’s son Anurag Singh, relative Bhagwat, and Ratan Lal’s son Rahul. The police have detained Ratan Lal and Rahul while a search is on for the others.
Sheeba Rani told The Indian Express that after her brother’s victory, Ratan Lal and Mohar Singh started threatening him and the entire family. “We have an audio recording in which the assailants can be heard threatening us,” she said, adding that the family did not inform the police as it hoped that the threats would end soon.
Quoting the complaint, the police said Sheeba went to a market on Thursday afternoon with her brother and sister-in-law to purchase medicines. On their way home in the evening, the accused allegedly came out from behind trees near Umariya crossing, and stopped the bike. Following an intense argument, they allegedly started firing at Ishaq. Sheeba said her brother tried to escape, but the gunmen chased and shot him dead. According to the complaint, the attackers fired at Shakina when she tried to save her husband.
Hearing gunshots, people working in a nearby field rushed to the spot. The gunmen fled on seeing a crowd approach, Sheeba told the police.
When the residents of Pargawan heard of the attack, they informed Ishaq’s family and the police. Soon, local people and residents of neighbouring villages arrived at the site of the murder and staged a protest. They did not allow the police to take away his body, and demanded the arrest of the accused. The situation normalised when senior police officers arrived at the spot and assured the protesters that action would be taken against the those responsible.
The four accused have booked on charges of murder and attempted murder in the FIR registered at the Cantonment police station. A police force and Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel have been deployed in Pargawan to maintain order.
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