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Ranchi: Van carrying cattle illegally mows down woman SI, BJP trade charges on state government

Ranchi: A 2018 batch police sub-inspector Sandhya Topno (32) on Wednesday died after being hit by a van allegedly carrying cattle illegally during a vehicle checking drive under Tupudana police station in Ranchi. The incident led to massive political uproar with opposition BJP accusing the state government of ‘patronising’ illegal cattle traders and utter lawlessness in the state. Hours after the incident, in Giridih district, unidentified criminals open three rounds of fire on Giridih jailer’s vehicle. Jailer Pramod Kumar however had a narrow escape.

Reacting to the incident in Ranchi senior SP Kaushal Kishore said, “The vehicle checking began after we received input about the van from neighbouring districts. In Gumla too, police tried to stop it but it fled. A team under SI was sent to apprehend the vehicle when this mishap occurred. We had seized the vehicle, and arrested the drive. Hunt is on for one more accused. We will try for speedy trail in this case.”

Topno’s death however triggered anger and criticism against the state government with BJP leaders launching scathing attack on the current regime. BJP state president Deepak Prakash accused the government of patronizing illegal cattle trade. “Ever since Soren government came to power, illegal cattle trade has increased despite ban on it,” he said.

Former CM Raghubar Das demanded Rs one crore compensation to the kin of the deceased and CBI probe. BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo however raised few questions on the police. “First, why did police put a woman cop on duty on such late hours? Secondly, the area is a rebel infested zone, were cops without weapons? Where did the cattle in the van go?,” he said.

In the evening, the SI was laid to rest at police lines. Reacting to the incident, Congress spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan said that the driver of the van was arrested immediately and police is probe the case. He said, “Lynching deaths related to cattle trade no more exists in Jharkhand like it used to be during BJP’s regime. We don’t need sermons from BJP. Our government committed for the welfare of the people and maintain law and order.”