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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sonbhadra killings: Village head, three brothers fired at tribals, says chargesheet

Police seized five firearms, including three double-barrel and a single-barrel gun, 19 tractors and 12 sticks from the spot.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow | Updated: October 15, 2019 9:11:33 am
The 143-bigha land was a source of dispute between the Gond tribals. (File)

Umbha village head Yagyadutt, his brothers Nidhidutt, Devdutt and Dharmendra, and one Vijay fired at Gond tribals. A railway employee contacted Yagyadutt 16 times and Dharmendra 17 times on the day of the Sonbhadra killings.

These are among the key takeaways of a chargesheet filed on Monday in connection with the murder of 11 Gond tribals over a land dispute in Umbha on July 17.

After Nidhidutt was injured, another accused Neeraj Rai fired from his double-barrel gun, according to the chargesheet.

The chargesheet stated that Komal Singh, who was suspended from the post of station superintendent of Bhadohi railway station, was the key conspirator in the case. He spoke to Yagyadutt and Dharmendra five times each at the time of the crime.

The Sonbhadra police filed chargesheet against 51 people. They had arrested a total of 65 people who are lodged in Sonbhadra district jail. They found no evidence against 10 of the accused and an application has been moved in a court in this regard. Four others are yet to be chargesheeted.

The chargesheet has been prepared on the basis of scientific evidence and statements of 123 people, said Sonbhadra Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhakar Chaudhary.

“The role of 59 people has come to light. Fifty-five of them have been arrested and four others are on the run. On Monday, we filed the chargesheet against 51 of in a local court of Sonbhadra. The court has fixed October 24 for taking cognizance of the chargesheet,” said Chaudhary.

Most of the accused are Yagyadutt’s relatives.

Police filed the chargesheet under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy). They also invoked the SC/ST Act and Arms Act.

The incident occurred on July 17 when villagers belonging to the Gond community were farming the disputed land. A group of people led by Yagyadutt went to take possession of the land which they claimed was purchased by him and his relatives two years ago. They indiscriminately fired at the villagers, killing 11 of them and injuring 21 persons.

Police seized five firearms, including three double-barrel and a single-barrel gun, 19 tractors and 12 sticks.

Meanwhile, Sonbhadra police have clubbed an FIR registered recently against Gond tribals on a complaint of the sister-in-law of Yagyadutt following court’s directive. The FIR was lodged against 55 named and 30 unidentified locals last week alleging that the accused had attacked her family members on July 17. dged against 55 named and 30 unidentified people last week. It alleges that the accused attacked her family members on July 17.

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