The matter is of Kolebira police station area of Simdega district. According to the police, villagers alleged that 32-year-old Sanju Pradhan used to smuggle wood from the forest area. Angered by this, the villagers took him from home to talk, where the mob set the body on fire after beating him with stones and sticks.
Simdega: On Tuesday, near Besrajara Bazar under Kolebira police station area of Simdega district in Jharkhand, a case of setting the dead body on fire came to light after a mob lynched a person named Sanju Pradhan of the village with stones and sticks.
On getting information about the matter, the Chief Minister has ordered for investigation and action under the law.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) David A. Dodrai said that a mob of villagers, accusing him of smuggling wood, first attacked a person named Sanju Pradhan with stones and then beat him with sticks and then set it on fire.
He told that this is an incident like mob violence. He told that the police took possession of the half-burnt body of the deceased after heavy efforts and sent it for postmortem.
Dodrai told that the villagers alleged that Sanju used to smuggle wood from the forest area.
Police sources said that at the time of the incident, there was a crowd of about one thousand people at the spot. He told that a mob of villagers first took Sanju away from home, after which attacked him with stones and sticks and then burnt him by setting fire to a pile of wood.
He told that 32-year-old Sanju, originally a resident of Chhapridipa of Bumblekera Panchayat, was living by building a house in Besrajara, just 100 meters away from the spot.
Village head Suban Budh, an eyewitness to the incident, said that Sanju had cut trees in violation of the traditional pegging rule, the forest department was also informed in this regard.
The villagers allege that Sanju did not listen and again felled the trees, a meeting was held in the village regarding this matter and Sanju was called on the spot. Even when asked by the village head, Sanju denied the allegation of cutting the tree and but the angry mob beat him up and burnt him.
It has been told that at the time of the incident, Sanju’s wife and other relatives were only 100 meters away from there and they also tried to save him.
The villagers who reached the spot were also stopped by the villagers and did not allow the dead body to be recovered. However, later the police of Kolebira as well as Typitangarar and Bano police stations reached the spot and explained to the villagers, after which the fire department extinguished the fire and the half-burnt body was sent for post-mortem.
Police said that the situation in the village still remained tense.
According to the Indian Express, Kolebira police station officials said that three FIRs have been registered against Sanju Pradhan as he was a former member of the banned CPI (Maoist) group. He was arrested and recently got bail.
Kolebira police station in-charge Rameshwar Bhagat told the Indian Express, ‘The villagers had earlier objected to the cutting of trees in the area by Sanju Pradhan. They did not want the felling of trees to continue so in July last year a meeting was held with the forest department of the district. A Gram Sabha was organized and it was decided that Sanju would not cut trees in the area as it was an important place for him.
He said, ‘However, Sanju recently cut trees again there, due to which the villagers got angry. Again a meeting was called, but they did not come. An angry mob of villagers brought him to Besarajara area and thrashed him to death and also set the body on fire.
He said, ‘After getting the information, we reached the spot. But we were able to reach there only after talking to the villagers. The police officer said that no arrests have been made so far as more than 500 people were involved in the lynching.
Terming the incident as unfortunate, Simdega Deputy Commissioner Sushant Gaurav said, “We are trying to ascertain the exact sequence of events that led to the murder.” It is true that the villagers considered the area sacred from where he used to cut trees. Administration and police are busy in getting the culprits punished.
On receiving information about the incident, Chief Minister Hemant Soren directed Simdega Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police and State Police on a tweet, ‘Please investigate the said matter and inform after taking lawful action.’
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) January 4, 2022
Condemning the incident, Deepak Prakash, the state president of the main opposition BJP, attacked the state government and said, “Chief Minister Hemant Soren only talks big things but in reality there is no rule of law on the ground in Jharkhand.”
It is known that on December 21, the Jharkhand Assembly passed the Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021 to strictly deal with the cases of mob lynching. Under which there is a provision of punishment ranging from three years to life imprisonment in addition to fine and attachment of properties for those found guilty of mob violence.
(with input from news agency language)
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