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Sonbhadra killings: Court orders FIR against tribals for ‘attack’ on pradhan’s kin

Yagyadutt, his brothers Nidhidutt and Devdutt, and several others are lodged in the Sonbhadra district jail for allegedly killing 11 Gond tribals and injuring 21 others by firing at them indiscriminately over the land dispute on the same day.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: October 3, 2019 4:41:44 am
The 143-bigha land was a source of dispute between the Gond tribals, and village head Yaghya Dutt and his aides. (File)

In a new turn in the Sonbhadra killing case, a local court on Tuesday directed district police to register an FIR against 55 named and 30 unidentified residents — all belonging to the Gond tribal community — of Umbha village for allegedly attacking family members of village pradhan Yagyadutt when they had gone to farm the disputed land on July 17.

Yagyadutt, his brothers Nidhidutt and Devdutt, and several others are lodged in the Sonbhadra district jail for allegedly killing 11 Gond tribals and injuring 21 others by firing at them indiscriminately over the land dispute on the same day.

Though police admitted to have received the court order, they are yet to lodge the FIR.

The court issued the order after hearing a petition of Yagyadutt’s sister-in-law (brother’s wife) Devkali who requested lodging of an FIR. She alleged that some members of her family were critically injured after the Gond tribals attacked them during a visit to the field on July 17.

She claimed that she had move the court as police did not lodge a case on her complaint. Devkali is wife of Yagyadutt’s elder brother Nidhidutt.

Devkali’s lawyer Shesh Narain Dixit said, “Over a month ago, she filed an application in the court seeking direction to lodge an FIR after police did not entertain her complaint due to political pressure.”

“She also claimed that her family and relatives had purchased the said land. A day before the incident, a meeting was held between her family and those who were farming the land. The Gond farmers agreed to hand over the land to her family. On July 17 when her family members went to farm the land, Gond tribals reached there and attacked them with sticks and sharp-edged weapons,” Dixit said.

He further said, “Following the attack, her husband Nidhidutt and Devdutt opened fire in self defence using the weapons they were carrying with them. She added that in the attack her husband and Devdutt suffered serious injuries. She requested the court to direct police to lodge an FIR against 55 named and 35 unidentified persons.” said the lawyer.

Devkali claimed that Yagyadutt was not present at the spot. Station House Officer (SHO), Ghorawal police station, C P Pandey, said, “We have received the court order and will lodge the FIR.”

Police have arrested 63 people and are on the lookout for nine others in the murder case. The SHO said a court notice was recently issued to attach their properties.

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