Villagers manhandle DSP, set afire SHO’s vehicle in Kathua
Basohli and Mahanpur towns of Kathua district today observed a shutdown following tension triggered by the recovery of the throat-slit body of a Class VIII Dalit boy in the area on Monday night.
Police sources said the student had been identified as Karan Kumar, 13, a resident of Ward Number 13 in Basohli. He had gone missing from his residence on Monday evening and his throat-slit body was found in an under-construction bathroom of a government school near his home.
The boy’s family, relatives and residents of Basohli town and the Beopar Mandal held a protest this morning and blocked the Bani-Basohli, Basohli-Punjab and the Basohli-Kathua highways throughout the day. They raised slogans against the police and kept the body outside the Basohli police station, demanding stringent action against the culprits.
Sources said as soon as the cavalcade of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) passed through the site of the protest, angry protesters threw stones on the police officer’s vehicle. The protesters allegedly manhandled policemen, including the DSP.
The sources said protesters barged into the office of the Station House Officer (SHO), Basohli police station, and ransacked it. They set a room of the police station and the SHO’s official vehicle on fire.
Meanwhile, the protesters also allegedly dragged the suspects, detained by the police for questioning, out of the police lock-up and thrashed them. The suspects saved themselves by taking refuge in a nearby CRPF camp.
Later, ASP, Kathua, Khalil Ahmed Poswal and DSP Kuljeet Singh reached Basohli town and pacified the protesters. The protesters were promised that ex gratia would be given to the boy’s family and a committee would be constituted to probe the case.
Normalcy was restored in the town late in the evening after the protesters lifted the blockade.
Meanwhile, the Police Department has constituted a probe panel headed by a DSP to unravel the murder mystery.