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Since 1st March, 1999
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Ratu ruckus over arrests

Agitated residents of Hurhuri village on the outskirts of the state capital on Sunday gheraoed Ratu police station and damaged vehicles parked on the premises, forcing the police to resort to mild use of force to bring the situation under control.

The villagers were demanding release of three youths who were arrested on theft charges on Saturday evening. To vent their ire, the villagers also set up a road blockade for about two hours near Kathitand Chowk. The blockade was removed after the local administration took a tough stand, arguing that criminal cases were already pending against two of the three arrested.

On Saturday evening, the police arrested three youths — Rizwan, Sheru and Naeem — and recovered stolen jewellery from their possession.

According to the villagers, the three were roughed up by the police during interrogation and hence their “well-wishers” gheraoed the police station on Sunday and demanded their release.

When the police refused to budge, the angry villagers started pelting stones and even tried to set the police station on fire. The police consequently resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd. Senior officials from the district headquarters too rushed to the incident spot. The agitated villagers then blocked all roads leading to Kathitand Chowk and stalled traffic on NH-75, that links Ranchi with Daltonganj.

However, even then the officers refused to relent. They argued that two cases of theft were already pending against Rizwan at Ratu police station itself. Another case was pending against him at Kotwali police station.

One criminal case was pending against Sheru as well at Ratu police station. The officials also firmly denied that the arrested persons were assaulted during interrogation and added that they will soon be exonerated by the judiciary, if they were really innocent.

“All arrested persons have been forwarded to jail. The situation is under control. No damage was caused to the police station,” Ranchi district (rural) SP Asim Vikrant Minz said.

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