Former ZP functionary lynched to death, 17 held, 300 booked

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Nagpur, Feb 8 (UNI) Former Nagpur Zilla Parishad vice president Dnyaneshwar Sathawane was lynched to death in village Tarsa of Maharashtra, about 45 kilometres from here, during a political meeting held to discuss the ZP elections.

The meeting was attended by State Minister for Public Works Anil Deshmukh.

The police have arrested 17 people, including a Sarpanch, all suspected to be activists of the Shiv Sena, and registered an offence against 300 others, in connection with this incident today.

Miscreants beat up Sathawane late last night. He succumbed to his injuries early today while undergoing treatment at a private nursing home. The miscreants hit him with a stone and also stabbed him with a sharp weapon, police said.

The incident occurred during a meeting being attended by Mr Deshmukh, among others, in connection with a by-election to the ZP, scheduled for today.

A section of the crowd at the meeting accused Sathawane of having been involved in the murder of Gopal Lohabare, a Shiv Sena member of the ZP, and began pelting stones. The glasses of Mr Deshmukh's private car and another vehicle were smashed in the stone pelting.

The miscreants also pounced upon Sathawane and beat him up, even as security men whisked Mr Deshmukh away to safety, police said.

Among the 17 people arrested in connection with the murder are Haribhau Shegu Lohabare (36), the Sarpanch of village Tarsa, Akhadu Govinda Lohabare (24), Gangadhar Shegu Lohabare (24), Shridhar Shegu Lohabare (30) and Shegu Lahanu Lohabare (65).

The police have deployed two companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) in addition to additional men from the Nagpur District Rural Police in the village as a precautionary measure. The police have registered an offence under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (prosecution of common object), 307 (attempt to murder), 302 (murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public from his duty), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The by-election was necessitated by Gopal Lohabare's death. The Shiv Sena has fielded his widow Nanda for the poll.

Lohabare was killed by unidentified assailants near village Tarsa on August 19 last year, which was suspected to have been the outcome of old enmity. The police had questioned Sathawane in connection with Lohabare's murder once, but never named him as a suspect.

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