At least a dozen policemen, including the Officer-in-Charge (OC), sustained injuries in stone-pelting and brick-batting when a mob of over 500 in a village held them hostage demanding that police hand over to them a couple, allegedly having an illicit relationship.
The incident was reported under Karaikela police station area of West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) district on Thursday evening. Additional police force had to be sent in for rescuing the policemen held hostage by the villagers.
The police said that a man, a resident of Ladupoda village in Karaikela area, reached the police station on Thursday afternoon claiming that his son and a young girl would be set afire by the villagers for allegedly being involved in an illicit relationship. OC Bigga Tirkey rushed to the village along with some police personnel and brought the couple back to the police station. However, the angry villagers then decided to set afire the houses of the young man and the girl.
“When Tirkey again rushed back with more force, a large mob had gathered and they surrounded him. His appeals for calm failed. The mob also set afire to haystack near the house of the young man. Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Chakradharpur) Subodh Kant Jaiswal then rushed to the village with additional force. But, the situation could not be brought under control. Finally, additional reinforcements were sent. The police opened fire in air to disperse mob and rescue the police men and officers. OC Tirkey has sustained injuries in stone-pelting and manhandling. Around a dozen other policemen have also sustained injuries. They have been admitted to the sub-divisional hospital,” said a police officer, adding that the situation was brought under control late in the night.
Chaibasa Superintendent of Police Michael S Raj said: “The young man is aged around 20, while the girl is said to be a minor. She was pregnant by six to seven months. She is a cousin of the young man. The villagers were angry with them because they were from the same gotra and they don’t allow marriage or any such relationship among the same gotra. The situation is normal now. An FIR against those involved in stone-pelting would be registered.”
Additional Superintendent of Police (Chaibasa), Manish Ranjan, said: “The police acted in time and prevented a major incident from happening. It is clear that the villagers had not only decided to take drastic action, but were determined to execute it. All the while, they continued to demand that the police hand over the couple to them. Further investigations are on.