Seven policemen injured as violence rocks tribal areas

Violence rocked the tribal belt of Adilabad and Kumram Bheem Asifabad districts on Friday as Adivasis went on the rampage, damaging property belonging to Lambadas following desecration of a statue of Raj Gond martyr Kumram Bheem at Betalguda village in Narnoor mandal.

At one stage, police lobbed teargas shells on a group of Adivasis which was threatening to go on the rampage at Utnoor mandal headquarters.

Seven policemen were injured in the stone pelting at Utnoor and Hasnapur.

According to police, the protesting aboriginal mob set fire to a liquor shop causing a little damage and also temporary structures in front of houses of Lambada tribals at Hasnapur village in Utnoor mandal, damaged a car at Utnoor Crossroad and pelted stones at a hospital owned by former Adilabad Member of Parliament Ramesh Rathod at Utnoor IB chowrasta.

Another group tried to set on fire a liquor shop and a petrol bunk owned by Lambadas at Jainoor mandal headquarters village in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

Rumour mill

Tension built up since morning after the Adivasis discovered the desecration of the statue of the martyr at Betalguda near Sonapur in Narnoor mandal. A large number of Adivasis gathered at the place and started protesting. As the mob moved towards Hasnapur village, rumours started floating that Lambada people were pelting stones on Adivasis in which one person was injured.

This evoked angry response from the Adivasis who torched temporary sheds in front of couple of houses and the local liquor shop. The mob then moved towards Utnoor X road where a car was damaged.

Police lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob which indulged in stone pelting injuring seven policemen, including a CI and two SIs, and setting fire to tyres and other material on road besides pelting stones on the hospital building. The situation was brought under control at about 7.30 p.m. but groups of Adivasis were seen gathered in the lanes and bylanes and reports of stone pelting kept coming intermittently.

Additional force

There were rumours of three persons dying in the violence but Adilabad Superintendent of Police M. Sreenivas denied any such thing taking place. He said situation was brought under control as more force was being deployed in Utnoor and other places.

Over 600 policemen were rushed in from TS Special Police Dichpally batallion, and Nirmal and Mancherial districts. The SP was moving with the force and was in constant touch with Adivasi and Lambada elders and leaders.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 8:12:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/seven-policemen-injured-as-violence-rocks-tribal-areas/article21745243.ece

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