A tribal man was killed and three others injured when forest officials fired after they allegedly threw stones at them while attempting to smuggle wood from a forest in Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha, a police officer said on Wednesday.
Additional police superintendent Sameer Yadav said Chain Singh was killed while Mahendra Singh, Bhagwan Singh and another unidentified person were injured. He added the forest officials, including deputy ranger Nirmal Singh, have been suspended and booked for murder while a heavy police force has been deployed in the area.
Divisional forest officer Rajveer Singh said a team was rushed to the Khadyapura forest on Tuesday night when they were tipped off about the presence of wood smugglers from Guna there. “…[The] team reached the spot and saw about seven to eight people with wood. The area was cordoned off to arrest them but they started pelting stones.” He insisted the officials fired in self-defence. “One person died on the spot while three others were injured.”
State home minister Narottam Mishra said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a judicial inquiry and announced financial assistance for families of Mahendra Singh and the three other injured in the firing. “… ₹20 lakh and a job will be given to the kin of the deceased and ₹5 lakh each to the injured…”
Opposition Congress leader Kamal Nath hit out the government and asked Chouhan to apologise to the tribal community. “Even when the country is celebrating the diamond jubilee of independence, the government is not backing down from its campaign of oppression of the tribals.”