Pratapgarh tense as tribal people picket police station, vandalise it

The situation in Salamgarh area of Pratapgarh district in southern Rajasthan became tense on Monday morning when hundreds of tribal people picketed the police station, pelting stones at the police staff and went on a rampage, forcing police to order a lathi charge and lob tear gas shells.

Some reports suggested that the tribal people ran away with some police weapons but this could not be verified until filing the report.

Police said that the tribal people were agitated over the arrest of a sarpanch (village panchayat head) on Sunday evening on charges of making inflammatory speech. The protesters demanded his release and arrest of people accused of raping a tribal girl a few days ago.

Udaipur range inspector general of police Anand Srivastava said that the situation was brought under control by charging the police officers to use lathi, an Indian wooden stick and deploying more force outside the police station.

“Police vehicles have been damaged and some police officers have been injured in the violence,” he said. “The process to identify the culprits was on after registering cases against them,” the IG added.

Before picketing the police station, the tribal protesters forced shopkeepers in the Salamgarh town to shut down the shops. Later, police conducted a flag march through the market.

The protesters rampaged through the police station, damaging computers and motorcycles.

Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said that the situation in the town was under control. “Few suspects have already been detained,” he said.

Initial investigation revealed that the matter is related to an alleged rape of a minor. On Monday, relatives of the girl and other tribal people picketed the police station, protesting against police inaction in the case and demanding release of the sarpanch.

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