Monday, 30th October 2017

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7 detained for Gumla lynching

Special police camp set up in village

By Sudhir Kumar Mishra in Ranchi
  • Published 19.12.17
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Ranchi: Senior Gumla district administration officials, including DC Shravan Kumar Sai and SP Anshuman Kumar, visited Khatgaon village in Palkot thana on Monday where a tribal Sarna couple and their elder daughter were lynched on Sunday allegedly by villagers in the aftermath of an ill-fated love affair.

The two underage daughters of the family, who were also injured by the villagers, and are now admitted to Gumla Sadar Hospital, have named over 15 persons in the lynch attack.

Seven of them were detained for questioning on Monday, Gumla SP Anshuman Kumar said.

Late in the evening at 8pm, the SP confirmed detailed interrogations were still on to decide how many would be finally arrested.

One of the hospitalised girls, now said to be 17, had the affair with tribal Christian youth Nandlal Kerketta, 23, which ended in tragedy on November 25 when he was summoned by police on abduction charges and jumped to death in a well while fleeing from the men in uniform. Since then, Nandlal's relatives indicted the police and the girl's kin for the death that polarised Khatgaon and culminated in Sunday's lynching deaths.

Police have set up a special camp in half-empty Khatgaon, from where all male members have fled. Police also asked the women who are at home and people of adjoining villages to maintain law and order.

Post-mortem of the trio, Tahlu Ram, Lakhpati Devi and Runi Kumari, was performed at Gumla Sadar Hospital, 25km from Khatgaon.

Senior Congress leader and former Kolebira MLA Niel Tirkey, who claimed to mediate between villagers and the administration after Nandlal's death, stressed the gory incident could have been averted if the police had been proactive.

"I had facilitated three peace committee meetings in Khatgaon (since Nandlal's death). But, no police or district administration officer came to them to tell villagers that they should begin living peacefully again. Had the police been a little sensitive, these mob murders would have been averted," he said.

The former MLA added that underage girl's brother-in-law Motilal Lohra, who had first lodged a police complaint that Nandlal had abducted the girl, had close PLFI links.

Tirkey added that angry villagers on Sunday had asked farmer Tahlu, who was in the field, about Motilal first. This led to a heated exchange of words which culminated in the villagers attacking Tahlu and his family with sticks.

'Dowry' death arrest

Giridih: A young homemaker was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her in-law's place in Mufassil thana area, 5km from town, on Monday. Vikram Rabbani, husband of deceased Monica Kumari (25), was arrested after her brother alleged she had been tortured for dowry.