The village pradhan of Basgaon, in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district, was shot dead by assailants from the same village on Friday evening, and a stampede during the ensuing protests by local residents over the murder led to the death of an eight-year-old boy, the police said.
The pradhan, Satyamev Jayate, belonged to a Scheduled Caste community, the police said.
The boy who died in the succeeding stampede was identified as Suraj. The police have begun an inquiry into reasons that led to his death.
Two police officials – Inspector Tarwa Manjay Kumar and local outpost in-charge Shiv Bhajan – have been suspended following the two deaths, it was informed.
Azamgarh DIG Subhash Chandra Dubey said, “Satyamev Jayate was killed by some people belonging to the same village. Two accused were named (initially) when information was given on the police helpline number. The complainants later mentioned two more names.”
Police officials said Jayate was killed by people who knew him — they were reportedly talking to him around 500 metres from his home and suddenly opened fire.
The two accused named are Golu Singh and Priyanshu. “The complaint is being filed and they have said two more people were allegedly involved in the murder. They (complainants) are yet to name the other two,” DIG Dubey said. “We have formed six teams to arrest the accused. I have given instructions to the SP to arrest them withing 12 hours,” he said.
Officials said the protesters damaged two motorcycles and indulged in vandalism at the police outpost. “They surrounded the house of the accused. Thereafter they ran towards the police outpost (when the child died in a stampede),” Dubey said. “More details regarding the death of the child will come out after postmortem.”
He put the number of protesters at around 100-150.
Officials said Jayate’s family will be given 50 per cent of the compensation under SC/ST Act after the postmortem is conducted on Saturday.
Taking cognizance of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Rs 5 lakh each will be given to the families of Jayate and Suraj, apart from compensation under SC/ST Act. Adityanath also ordered invoking the NSA and the Gangster Act against the accused.
Police have announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information leading to arrest of the accused.