RAMGARH: A septuagenarian died during a police search at a village in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district, which was the site of a clash over buring of the effigy of Ravana on Dussera, trigering allegations of police high handedness by the residents.
The police has been conducting the search operation since October 16 to apprehend culprits after two police officers were injured in the clash at Barkipona village under Rajrappa police station where the effigy of the mythical ten-headed king of Lanka was burnt in defiance of the protocol of the state government to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Malo Devi, the 75-year-old woman died allegedly after the cops broke open the door of her hut injuring her grievously on Wednesday night.
The elderly woman was hurt as she was standing near the door, her grand daughter Prabha Kumari said.
She succumbed to her injuries later in the night, her family said.
Ramgarh deputy commissioner Madhvi Mishra told PTI that the woman died during the police search but the cause of her death can be ascertained only after postmortem.
A probe will be ordered if any physical injury is found in the autopsy report and the guilty will be punished, the deputy commissioner said.
Additional police force has been deployed in Barkipona where the situation is tense since the death.
But there has been no report of any violent incident and the situation is under control, Mishra said.
The DC said she had talked to Ramgarh superintendent of police Prabhat Kumar about the incident but he said nothing had happened.
Ramgarh Congress MLA Mamata Devi met the DIG of north Chhotanagpur division Narendra Kumar Singh along with a few residents of Barkipona on Wednesday and lodged a complaint about alleged police atrocity in the village.
Chandra Prakash Chaudhary, AJSU-P MP from Giridih parliamentary constituency who visited Malo Devi’s house on Thursday, talking to reporters alleged that the police has been treating villagers like militants and breaking open doors to their houses in the name of the search operation.
Former BJP MP Yadunath Pandey too met the woman’s family and said the burning of the effigy of Ravana is an emotional religious issue.
As many as 26 villagers have been arrested so far in connection with the violence over the burning of the effigy.