Jharkhand: 144 Imposed in Hazaribagh, Bajrang Dal workers injured in stone-pelting

Hazaribag (Jharkhand): Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC has been promulgated here late yesterday after husband of zila parishad chairperson suffered injuries during an attack where some unidentified men opened fire at him near Sardar chowk. Lakhan Sao, husband of Sushila Devi, was headed to Chapakala village when he was attacked by six miscreants, who opened fire at him, police said. Some reports said the activists raised slogans in the name of Ram which members of another community found objectionable.

Tension gripped the Sadar subdivision of Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district Wednesday after half-a-dozen Bajrang Dal activists were injured in stone-pelting. In another incident in the area, the Zila Parishad chairperson’s husband and his driver were shot at. Police have said the two incidents were not related and have clamped Section 144 of CrPC to prevent any untoward incident. Heavy force has been deployed. Police said the stone-pelting took place around 10 am when a bus occupied by Bajrang Dal activists was on Zakir Hussain Road. It was on its way to Dhanbad.

Some reports said the activists raised slogans in the name of Ram which members of another community found objectionable. Some members of the minority community stopped the bus and an altercation followed, leading to stone-pelting, which left the driver and six activists injured. DC Ravi Shankar Shukla said: “An FIR has been lodged and half-a-dozen people arrested. Reasons behind the stone-pelting are being ascertained. There are different versions. One says the altercation broke out when the bus brushed past another vehicle.” While the activists are learnt to have alleged that the stone-pelting was planned, Shukla said: “There is no evidence to suggest that.”

Sao was rushed to Hazaribagh sadar hospital where the doctors referred him to Rajendra institute of medical sciences, Ranchi, they said. One person was held in the incident after the locals chased him down, police said adding that an AK-47 rifle was seized from his possession.

 The firing took place around 2 pm at Sardar Chowk, about 1 km away from the site of stone-pelting. When local residents raised an alarm, the assailants fled, leaving their vehicle and an AK-47 behind. “More than 20 rounds were fired. This appears to be a case of gang war. We are probing further,” SP Anoop Birthare said. Police said Sao and his driver Dharmendra took at least three bullets each, but are reported to be stable.

Officials trashed rumours suggesting that the incidents were related and the exchange of fire took place between two communities. Probe has revealed that Sao earlier worked for Sushil Srivastava, a mafia who was murdered. Later, he branched out. “The possibility of Srivastava’s gang targeting him can’t be ruled out,” said Shukla.
Jharkand has seen several incidents of violence over the past months. On March 21, news of seven gory lynching to death of persons (simply after rumours had spread over child kidnappers) brought out the chilling reality that communal and other tensions simmer just below the surface in the state.



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