Than firing: Four cops face murder, atrocity charges
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Two sub-inspectors, including K P Jadeja, and as many constables were booked for murder and rioting on Wednesday in connection with the death of three dalits at Thangadh in Surendranagar district last weekend.
Rajkot range IG Pravin Sinha said the CID filed three separate FIRs with the Thangadh police station for the deaths of Pankaj Sumara, Prakash Parmar and Mehul Rathod.
Besides Jadeja, SI B K Solanki and constables Yogirajsinh Gohil and Nathubha have been named in the FIRs. Families of the deceased are complainants in the case.
"The FIRs have been filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 120b (conspiracy) and sections 3 and 5 of the (prevention) of Atrocities Act," said Surendranagar Superintendent of Police Raghvendra Vatsa.
The FIR was registered after dalits from across the region mounted pressure for action against the police team that allegedly opened fire on mobs twice within 24 hours in the town.
Locals said they had been protesting against Jadeja for a long time. Accusing him of bias, they said the policeman used to shield rich and influential Bharwad community members. They also demanded transfer of Vatsa. "The SP kept Jadeja in Thangadh even as he was transferred in July," said Surendranagar BSP president Natu Parmar.
Meanwhile, dalits took out a rally in Gondal while in Rajkot, lawyers submitted a memorandum to Pravin Sinha demanding action against the policemen involved in the incident.
Congress leaders, on the other hand, met the families of the deceased and offered a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each. They also gave Rs 50,000 each to the families of injured persons.
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