Minister's kin fires on tribals, Dhanbad tense

The Times of India News Service

DHANBAD: The coal city is in the grip of tension since Friday noon following indiscriminate firing by the associates of Samata Party leader and urban development minister Bachcha Singh's nephew. Armed police have been posted at vulnerable points besides the patrolling being conducted in the city.

The nephew of the minister, Shashi Singh, who led the attack and himself indulged in high-handed behaviour, has been arrested by the police. However, Singh's associates managed to escape in vehicles. Several tribals, belonging to Jharkhand Adivasi Janadhikar Manch (JAJM), were injured and many received lathi blows when Shashi Singh's associates attacked over 200 JAJM activists who were staging dharna in support of their demands.

According to SP incharge, Laxman Singh, the road near the dharna place at Randhir Verma roundabout was blocked by the JAJM activists around noon. Shashi Singh's vehicle was passing through the road, when someone from the crowd protested the passing of the vehicle and struck a lathi blow on the vehicle. This enraged the minister's nephew, who returned after a few minutes with his associates in two vehicles. They were armed with sticks and firearms.

The SP said as soon as Shashi arrived at the dharna place, his associates started beating the dharnaites who were taken unawares. Shashi took his vehicle around the dharna site and very soon a commotion ensued. People started running helter-skelter to escape the beating and speeding vehicle. The manch supporters were chased away by Shashi's associates.

Meanwhile, Dhanbad police station officer-incharge arrived on the spot and brought the situation under control. Later the police arrested Shashi, claimed Singh.

It may be pertinent to mention here that another nephew of the minister has been named a prime conspirator in the kidnapping of industrialist Ashok Jalan a few months back. He is still absconding.

Shashi is the son of Ramdhir Singh, joint general secretary of Janata Mazdoor Sangh, of which his elder brother, Bachcha Singh, is the general secretary. The sangh was set up by late mafia don Suraj Deo Singh, the elder of the Singh brothers.

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Published on: May 25, 2001
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