The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bypoll victory rally claims youth’s life

Jamshedpur, Sept. 3: A trivial quarrel over the right of passage for jubilant JMM supporters in Sonari last evening turned fatal.

Santosh Yadav, rushed to Tata Main Hospital after the party workers thrashed him with beer bottle, died in the small hours today.

According to eyewitnesses, soon after the result of the by-election was declared, a group of JMM supporters in Sonari organised a victory rally. Having smeared gulal on each other and sporting party flags, the activists started moving around the township.

While crossing Budhram Mohalla, Chotu Yadav, in his teens, was standing in front of his house. The rallyists, in a rejoicing spree, objected that he was apparently blocking the celebration procession. Chotu instantly shot back saying that he was not making any blockade since he was standing on the roadside. However, one of the party workers assaulted the boy, but later left the place in a huff, on being resisted by other boys in the locality.

The young activist later returned at the spot with 14-15 more youths with sticks. According to the eyewitnesses, when the JMM activists returned, Chotu was not there, instead his elder brother Santosh, a car driver, was standing in front of their house. The JMM activists first tried to find out Chotu, but on failing to trace out him, they pounced upon Santosh. The activists — all residents of Kagalnagar area in Sonari — hit Santosh’s head with a broken beer bottle, causing grievous head injuries to Santosh. After beating him mercilessly, the youths left the spot.

Guddu Ram, one of Santosh’s neighbours, said he was also thrashed, but he managed to escape with minor injuries. Ram claimed Santosh was not even aware of what had occurred between his younger brother and the JMM supporters.

The relatives of Santosh insisted on immediate arrest of those involved in the attack.

They refused police for going ahead with the post-mortem unless the youths were not arrested. In a bid to put pressure on the police, Kesharia Yadav Samaj and some BJP functionaries jointly staged a gherao at Sonari police station.

Officer in charge of Sonari police station Manoj Thakur, however, assured the protesters of necessary action against the accused. In this connection, a case of murder against 14 persons, all JMM activists, have been lodged and raids were started.

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