The tribal Chilakota village of Dahod’s Garbada taluka in Gujarat was hit by severe violence on Thursday after the death of a local resident following his interrogation by police. Angry villagers have alleged that he was severely beaten up during the interrogation. The villagers also demanded that the police should be booked for murder and attacked the local police station.
As they burnt vehicles, the police opened fire in the evening which resulted in the death of a farmer. This led to heightened tension in the region, a day after elections were announced in the state.
Sources claim that the officials of the Local Crime Branch picked up Kanesh Gamara, 31, around 1:30 A.M. on Thursday to question him about his brother who was reportedly wanted in a dacoity case.Gamara along with another person was picked up and later on released around 3 A.M.
However, he was dead within an hour. The enraged villagers took his body around 7 AM to the Jesawada police station while demanding that the policemen involved in his investigation should be booked for murder.
The villagers stoned the police station and burnt official vehicles after the police said they would register a case of accidental death.In order to quell, the crowd, cops lobbed eight teargas shells and opened fire which led to three people being injured.
Ramsu Mohaniya, 45, the farmer from Amli village who died in the firing is survived by his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters.His cousin Ratan Mohaniya told the Indian Express that Ramsu came in the line of police fire when he went to buy vegetables.
His admission record in the general hospital at Dahod, accessed by The Indian Express, says: “Ramsu Jokhlabhai Mohaniya. Hit by bullet in the head. Brought dead”. Police officials claim that “seven to eight” policemen were injured as villagers resorted to stone-pelting. Another villager Kanu Bhuriya was injured in the head and referred to Vadodara civil hospital for further treatment said an official at the Dahod general hospital.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Bhuriya said: “The police hired my vehicle (a tempo) and I got a call to come to the Jesawada police station. When I came here and parked my vehicle, something hit me near the eye”. He had a swollen right eye and a bandage on his right arm.
Dahod Deputy Superintendent of Police Tejas Patel told The Indian Express: “We had taken Gamara in for questioning about his brother who is underground in a dacoity case and released him the same day. This morning, Gamara’s relatives approached the police to lodge a complaint and when police were in the process of registering the complaint, around 500 people gathered at the police station and started pelting stones. The crowd also burnt and damaged police vehicles.” When asked about how many rounds were fired he said that the investigation is still undergoing.
Mohan Tadvi, a resident of Jesawada village who is also an eyewitness said, “LCB police officers came to investigate, they picked up two persons and thrashed them. Later in the morning one of them died and when we went to police station to register a complaint against the police officers. They refused and said they would only register a case of accidental death.”