Police shoots down youth ''accidentally''

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Bhiwani, Nov 3 (UNI) A college student was shot dead in an ''accidental firing'' while police gave him a hot chase, mistaking him for a notorious criminal near Dabar colony in Bhiwani last night.

Terming the incident, which triggered massive public protests in the area, ''an accident'', Superintendent of Police, Hisar, Anil Rao said the 18-year-old youth, Kuldip, was killed when the gun wielded by constable Karamvir went off, due to the undulating terrain through which the victim and his three friends tried to escape despite being warned to stop.

Calling the incident ''unfortunate'', the SP said Bhiwani police arrested Karamvir and registered a case under sections 302 and 34 of IPC against eight policemen, including SHO Krishan Kumar, who was heading the team.

An inquiry into the incident has been ordered, he said.

According to Mr Rao, the police team, on a tip-off, had cordoned off the area near village Haluwas to nab a wanted bank robber, Dara, when around 0030 hrs, the group of four motorbike-borne youths, apparently drunk, broke the barricade despite being flagged down.

The armed police party, in an open jeep, chased them when they took the bike off the main road in a bid to escape. Due to the ''bad condition of the road, the trigger got pressed and the bullet hit one of the riders of the mobike, later identified as Kuldip Singh,'' the SP said.

The boys were returning home after attending a marriage party and the incident sparked off massive public protests in Bhiwani where a rampaging mob, most of them students, set ablaze police vehicles and damaged public property.

The body of the deceased, student of BA Final year, Vaish College, was, meanwhile, handed over to his family and was cremated this afternoon in the presence of heavy police force.

The shopkeepers of the area kept their shops closed till noon to protest the incident.

Chief Parliament Secretary Dharamvir Singh, while expressing shock and grief over his death, said an ex gratia payment amounting to Rs 7 lakh would be made to the bereaved family and a government job would be given to one member of the family.

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