August 23, 2009 10:31:20 pm
The Kaladhungi area of Nainital district was rocked by massive violence on Sunday in which a policeman was burnt to death and a police station was torched by an irate mob. The trouble was sparked off by the alleged killing of a block level BJP leader by a BSP activist.
Taking a serious note of the incident,the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank has put all the police personnel posted at Kaladhungi Police Station under suspension on the charges of dereliction of duty.
He also ordered a magisterial probe into the incident and affirmed that those found guilty would not be spared. Nishank has directed all the Station House Officers (SHOs) to be vigilant and ensure law and order in their areas.
Balwant Singh Kaniyal,the President of Kotabagh block of Nainital district was having an enimity with Neeraj Tiwari who is a BSP activist. The two had clashed in a restaurant on Saturday evening. Following the clash they had reached the Kaladhungi police station where they clashed again. At this point Tiwari allegedly shot Kaniyal at point blank range. Kaniyal was declared brought dead at the Base Hospital and Tiwari was arrested immediately.
As the news of his killing spread thousands of Kaniyals his supporters gathered at Kotabagh and marched to the to the Kaladhungi police station. They were led by the sister of the deceased Indira.
The irate mob set the police station on fire and set more than seven vehicles parked in the premises on fire. While the other police personnel had managed to run to safety,Head Constable Puran Lal Sharma had failed to take cover. He is learnt to have been stoned to death by the mob and his body was thrown into the inferno.
On the 30 km stretch between Haldwani and Kaldhungi,supporters of Kaniyal clashed with police at several places and did not allow the fire tenders to proceed towards the burning police station. The police then resorted to lathi charge that was followed by firing. In the process two villagers identified as Pushkar Singh and Mahender Saini of Chakluva village were injured.
Several policemen were attacked and made to run away. Atleast half a dozen policemen were injured in the violence. Three of them were admitted to a Ramnagar hospital while three seriously injured were referred to the Haldwani hospital.
Senior officials claim that the situation is under control.
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