A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the death of an activist fighting corruption in the PDS who, his daughter alleged, was shot dead by the police on Saturday in a village in Narsinghpur district in Madhya Pradesh.

When Ambika Prasad Dubey (55), who had been working to bring out corruption and leakages in the Public Distribution System, and some residents of Jhilpani stopped a PDS truck to show the district administration how they were being denied their full quota of grain, a police team reached the spot and tried to get the vehicle released. The villagers raised objections and a shot was fired, reportedly by the police inspector leading the team. Mr. Dubey was seriously injured and he died on way to hospital.

‘Point-blank range’

While police officials were not certain about the exact cause of death, Mr. Dubey's daughter alleges that he was shot from point-blank range, according to some news reports.

“On Saturday, we received information that a PDS vehicle was held up by some villagers so we sent a team of 12 policemen led by an inspector to get the truck released,” Narsinghpur Superintendent of Police G.G. Pandey told The Hindu.

“Subsequently, the villagers attacked the policemen, shots were fired and Dubey was hurt. He later died on way to hospital. A magisterial enquiry has been ordered and the inspector as well as the 11 policemen have been line-attached [removed from field duties],” said Mr. Pandey.