October 8, 2014 4:50:43 am
When the Muzaffarnagar riots broke out in the village of Kawal, its neighbour Bahadurpur escaped the carnage. But the peace that persisted in the village for more than a year has been shattered.
The road where three men were found murdered is the only one that leads out of the village. Despite additional police deployment, reports of “shadowy figures” lurking in the fringes of the village have spread and people have stopped venturing out after dark. The most affected are those who worked at night — many villagers have jobs at nearby chemical factories on Jansath road.
“People have stopped going out at night. The minute it is dark, we all come home and stay outdoors in large groups. We have seen some men covered in black outside the village and told police about it. We will meet the district magistrate on Wednesday,” said Wilson, a Dalit Christian resident of the village. Three men — Surender (38), a factory worker from the Kashyap community, Sunder (28), a driver from the Jatav community, and Kunwerpal (43), a restaurant employee from the Valmiki community — were found murdered on the road on Saturday.
Representatives of all three communities will meet the district magistrate.
“We were told by the police that action will be taken soon, but nothing has happened so far. Now there are people lurking outside the village. We’ll hold a mahapanchayat and take matters into our own hands if the police fail us,” said Surender’s brother Suresh.
Police, meanwhile, maintain that they have not been able to identify the suspects in the case, nor have they come across any suspicious people in the fields around the village.
Sources involved in the investigation said that four-six men appear to have been involved in the murder. “We have increased security in the village and are guarding the road. A team is stationed whe-re the murder took place. We are taking all possible precautions,” SP City Sarvan Kumar said. Police sources said that as per the autopsy, the cause of death of all three men appeared to be injuries to the head and neck with a sharp, heavy blade.
All three victims were found in the fields adjacent to the road. Police sources said that the blood spatter found on the road indicated that they had tried to escape by crawling on the ground towards the fields. They all had injuries on the hands and legs indicative of ‘defence wounds’.
Police said that the faces of the three victims were mutilated to an extent that they had to be identified with the help of their clothes and belongings.
As per the autopsy report, Sunder, who had suffered injuries to his lower abdomen and groin area, was found with clenched fists, protecting his face. Kunwerpal was also found in a defensive position, with a hand over his face, said the report.
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