People protesting over the death of two motorcycle riders in a road accident pelted stones at police personnel, injuring 12 of them, on the Unnao-Kanpur road here, officials said on Thursday. Forty-three people have been arrested, and a case has been registered against 100 named and 250 unknown persons in connection with the violence that took place on Wednesday, the police said.
The local station house officer (SHO) and three other policemen were suspended for laxity and incompetence in discharging their duty. The suspension followed pictures that appeared on social media, showing police personnel using plastic stools and cane baskets on their heads to protect themselves and trying to disperse the irate mob with lathis.
The state police chief has also sought an explanation from the superintendent of police. The road crash that led to the protest took place on Tuesday. Devikheda village residents Rajesh (32) and Vipin (25) died as the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a car in the City Kotwali police station area, the police said.
A day later, after the bodies were handed over to their families for last rites following a post-mortem examination, people of the village blocked the Unnao-Kanpur road near Akrampur to press for action against those responsible and compensation for the kin of the deceased, Superintendent of Police Anand Kulkarni said. The protesters pelted stones at the sub-divisional magistrate and a police team sent there to pacify them, resulting in injuries to over 12 policemen, the SP said.
Taking note of the incident, the Uttar Pradesh Police tweeted, "An elaborate SOP & sufficient riot gears have been given to all districts to deal with any L&O situation. In a L&O situation in Unnao, despite Int. inputs, the force was ill equipped for which the DGP has sought explanation of the SP & at the local level SHO has been suspended." The Lucknow Range inspector general also took to Twitter, saying Kotwali Sadar Inspector in-charge Dinesh Mishra, police outpost in-charge of Magarwara, and two constables have been suspended for laxity and incompetence. A clarification has been sought from the CO City, and the investigation of entire case has been given to the Rae Bareli additional superintendent of police, the IG said.
According to sources, the police team sent to the village initially was outnumbered and ill-equipped to handle the mob. The situation came under control after additional forces arrived.