Men flee Balipur to escape ‘more attacks’, SP suspends three officers
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Even as only women and children remained in Balipur, where two days ago the village pradhan, his younger brother and Circle Officer (Kunda) Ziaul Haque were killed, the newly appointed Superintendent of Police (Pratapgarh) L R Kumar on Monday suspended three police personnel on charges of dereliction of duty.
Those suspended were Inspector (Kunda) Sarvesh Mishra, Senior Sub-Inspector Vinay Kumar and the gunner of slain CO, Mohammad Imran. "The allegation against them is that they were not present at the duty point, where they should have been," said Kumar. Mishra and Imran, who were packing their bags at Kotwali (Kunda), refused to comment on the incident. The CO is said to have been left alone while his colleagues fled, even as he was dealing with the angry mob in the village. Kumar added that the sequence of events was being established. "Four FIRs have been registered and the investigation is only one-day-old. I can't comment on the matter any further," he said.
At Balipur, the men were nowhere to be seen. There were only women and children. The only men seemed to be the ones in khaki. The others were mostly relatives of Dukhi Ram Yadav, the father of the pradhan Nanhe Yadav, who was the first one to be shot on Saturday evening. They claimed to have come from distant villages, knowing nothing about the incident.
"I fear for the life of my children. They are not here. Have you seen any policemen near our home? Who knows the attackers might return again and kill our children," said Dukhi Ram, the only male member left behind. Others have been sent to relatives' houses or somewhere in Allahabad.
Dukhi Ram claimed that he was at his house when he heard the news of Nanhe being shot at a tiraha just outside the village. "Everybody rushed there to take Nanhe's body to hospital. Sometime later, I asked my younger son, Suresh, to escape from a side path. However, the attackers caught up and shot him too. Those were the people who also killed the Circle Officer, when he tried to intervene. When our men are being killed, do you think we will to dare to attack a police officer?" he said.
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