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Protest over police beating

Nearly 60 residents of Bagbera and Jugsalai in Jamshedpur demonstrated outside East Singhbhum district collectorate on Tuesday against alleged highhandedness by police in connivance with a city-based realtor.

They said Jugsalai-based promoter Rajesh Mangotia tried to encroach Tezaab Nala, a large drain used by over 5,000 households on the 1km stretch between Jugsalai and Bagbera. They claimed the drain flowed through government land.

“The builder started filling sand on the sides of the drain from Saturday night. Residents, whose wastewater runs through the drain, wrote to the thana OC Rajesh Ranjan on April 20. But no action was taken. On the night of April 21, they objected to sand filling. Then, the builder’s men took away a 17-year-old boy, Vikas Singh, of the locality,” alleged Budhram Toppo, mukhiya of North Bagbera gram panchayat.

Toppo added nearly 50 residents went to the promoter’s house and freed Vikas.

“While we were returning with the boy, police stopped us and started beating us with lathis, accusing us of creating a law and order problem. Four women and three men were injured. So, we met East Singhbhum SSP Amol V. Homkar and DC Amitabh Kaushal and demanded action against police and immediate stopping of sand filling,” said Toppo.

The protesters threatened mass agitation if the administration did not act.

SSP Amol V. Homkar said city SP Karthik S. had been asked to probe the case. DC Amitabh Kaushal said Jamshedpur circle officer Prabhat Bhushan had been directed to measure the area to verify if state land had been encroached upon. Till then, all construction work was topped.