Youth killed in firing by a 'dera' head in Punjab

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Jalandhar, Jul 29 (UNI) A youth was killed and a woman sustained injuries when the head of a local 'dera' opened fire in Balauki village under the Mehatpur police station of the district today.

Police sources here said at least 10 officials, including a SP and Tehsildar, were injured in the rioting that followed after the firing incident.

Giving details sources said that Dalit families of Balauki took exception to certain derogatory remarks passed against Maharishi Valmiki by Baba Gurcharan Dass, head of a 'dera' in the village while quoting the 'Ramayana' during a function. The Baba opened fire from his licensed gun when he noticed dalit families converging at the 'dera'.

A 16-year old youth identified as Money who was hit by a bullet fired by the Baba sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died. A woman identified as Usha Rani was injured in the firing and was later taken to a hospital.

The firing provoked the other dalit families and they resorted to stone pelting at the police force that had reached the village.

SP (headquarters) Satinder Singh, Tehsildar Inderjit Singh, DSP of Shahkot and eight policemen sustained injuries in the stone pelting.

However the matter was finally brought under control when the police arrested the Baba and registered a murder case against him.

The District Magistrate who also reached the spot ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Mehatpur, Darshan Singh Randhawa was placed under suspension for dereliction of duty.

UNI HS SB HT2140

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