Ranchi: In a rerun of the killing of a police officer in Haryana during a drive against illegal mining, a woman police officer engaged in vehicle checking near the Jharkhand capital was mowed down Wednesday by a pickup van allegedly smuggling cattle.
Sandhya Topno, a 32-year-old police sub-inspector, was conducting the checking drive at Tupudana on the outskirts of Ranchi, when the speeding vehicle carrying the cattle ran over her and fled, a police official said.
“She was immediately taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences but she succumbed to her injuries on way to the hospital,” Tupudana police station in charge Kanhaiya Singh told PTI.
Singh said the vehicle driver has been apprehended and the vehicle seized along with the cattle.
Ranchi city superintendent of police Anshuman Kumar said that prima facie the matter seems to be a case of cattle smuggling.
“One person has been detained and the police are in search of others. Investigations are on,” he said.
An eyewitness said that the SI had raised her hand from a distance to stop the pickup van but the driver ran her over.
The incident occurred a day after a deputy superintendent of police probing illegal mining was killed in Haryana’s Nuh district when a truck he had signalled to stop drove into him.
The death of the SI has resulted in a war of words between Jharkhand’s ruling coalition partner Congress and the main opposition BJP. The saffron party has demanded a CBI probe into the incident and Rs one crore compensation to the victim’s family.
BJP national vice-president and former Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das has demanded an immediate CBI probe into the matter and action to bust a syndicate of cattle smugglers allegedly active in the state.
“Law and order has collapsed in the state under the present JMM-led regime and a syndicate is active under the patronage of the state government,” Das claimed.
BJP state president and MP Deepak Prakash said “There has been an increase in cow smuggling in Jharkhand ever since the Hemant Soren government has been formed. It is being done under the patronage of the ruling party. There is a breakdown of law and order in the state. The incident of Tupudana is an example of how the state is heading towards Jungle Raj”.
The JMM-led UPA government in the state should immediately check cattle smuggling or “get ready to face the wrath of the people,” he added.
Hitting out at the accusations, state Congress president Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said the police are committed to check crimes and the officer had laid down her life while discharging duty.
“BJP leaders are trying to break the morale of the police by making irresponsible and objectionable statements,” he said.
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