JAIPUR: A violent mob demanding immediate arrest of the killers of a woman burnt alive by a police officer in Surwal village near Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan on Thursday after attacking him and setting his official jeep on fire. The police officer died on the spot while several of his colleagues were injured.
Phool Mohammed, Station House Officer of Man Town police station, had arrived in the village leading a police contingent to control an agitation by local residents demanding arrests in the case of murder of Dakha Devi, whose legs were chopped off by suspected robbers on February 25 for snatching her jewellery.
The villagers issued an ultimatum to the administration to catch the murderers, transfer the police officers and provide financial relief of Rs.10 lakh to the victim’s family by evening. Two young men climbed up a high water tank and warned that they would jump unless immediate action was taken on the demands.
According to police sources here, one of the youths – Rajesh Meena – immolated himself and jumped from the water tank. Though the crowd below tried to douse the flames with sand and save him, Rajesh died of multiple fractures and burn injuries.
This incident aggravated the situation and the agitating crowd became restive. The mob raising slogans hurled stones on policemen standing at some distance and especially targeted the SHO. A large number of people with stones and sticks surrounded Mr. Phool Mohammed and thrashed him.
Police sources said the profusely bleeding SHO was then thrown into his official jeep and the vehicle was set on fire. Mr. Phool Mohammed died on the spot and two of his colleagues sustained serious injuries. A total of 18 injured policemen were rushed to the Government Hospital in Sawai Madhopur and admitted there.
The situation in Surwal village, 10 km from the town, was stated to be tense till late in the evening. Four policemen were still reported missing, while at least two other police jeeps and a number of two-wheelers belonging to villagers were set on fire during the violence.