Police open fire as farmers run riot, 4 hurt

Four people were injured as police opened fire to quell an angry mob of villagers who attacked a police team and set ablaze three rooms of Mahuli police station in Sant Kabir Nagar district on Friday afternoon.

Around 40 fields of the wheat crop had caught fire after a live wire passing overhead fell on the field. Following a delayed response from the fire tenders, the locals went on a rampage.

District Magistrate of Kabir Nagar D S Dubey said: “The police had to open fire as the mob had turned frenzy and engaged in violence and arson. Four locals have sustained gunshots and were admitted to Gorakhpur Medical College.”

“The Additional District Magistrate of the district, Ram Sajivan, has been asked to probe the matter.”

Kabir Nagar SP Sugriv Giri said the fields at Hridayapur village suddenly caught fire after a live wire passing overhead fell on the crop around 12.30 pm. Thereafter, the locals informed the nearest police station, following which the fire station was informed about the incident.

The crops in 40 fields had been burnt and the farmers had managed to prevent the flames enveloping the adjacent crops when the two fire tenders reached the spot around 1.25 pm.

Giri said the delayed response by the fire tenders left the villagers angry and over 300 people gathered at the nearby Mahuli police station. They barged into the cabin of the station officer and ransacked the entire room. The policemen remained mute spectators as people damaged the furniture and destroyed the documents kept at the office. While the mob targeted the flat of two sub-inspectors and two constables on the premises, others set ablaze the furniture of the police station. The police jeep and motorcycles were also damaged.
It took about 20 minutes for the additional force to rush to the spot. The policemen initially lathicharged the mob and later fired at them forcing them to leave the police station. Four villagers — Fidai Mohammad, Nizamuddin, Ram Sahai and Bhal Chandra — sustained bullet injuries.

The SP said a case will be registered against some anti-social elements who provoked the mob to engage in arson. Few of them even fired at the police with country-made firearms.

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