BHOPAL: Three policemen were shot dead by blackbuck poachers in Guna district
of Madhya Pradesh in the wee hours of Saturday.
One of the poachers was killed in the cross-firing while others managed to escape. Two of them were arrested by the police after a few hours. They are residents of Bidoria village in Guna's Raghogarh area.
The incident took place at around 2.45am under Aron police station– 45km from the district headquarters. The slain cops were identified as sub-inspector Rajkumar Jatav, head constable Sant Kumar Meena and constable Neeraj Bhargav. The driver of the police vehicle was also injured.
Rajeev Mishra, superintendent of police, told media that the team went to the forest area under Aron police station following specific intelligence inputs on poachers. They managed to round up three of them. However, their accomplices opened fire on police killing three of them on the spot. One of the poachers identified as Naushad was killed in police firing. Others had managed to escape the spot taking advantage of the dense foliage.
They had shot around five blackbucks. Decapitated carcasses of two blackbucks, four heads and a peacock shot by the poachers were seized from the spot later.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called for an emergency meeting with the DGP Sudhir Saxena and other officers. He ordered the suspension of Gwalior zone IG Anil Sharma with immediate effect over delay in reaching the spot of crime. He was replaced by 1997 batch IPS officer D Srinivas Verma.
Chouhan announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the martyred police personnel.
"They'll be given the status of martyrs and Rs one crore each will be given to their families. One member of each of their families will be given a government job. Last rites will be held with full honour. Decided to immediately remove Gwalior IG for reaching late at the spot after the incident," the chief minister said.
"Criminals will not be spared at any cost, action against them will be exemplary. I respect their sacrifice," he added.
State home minister Narrottam Mishra also consoled the death of the three police personnel and said instructions had been given to take strict action against the criminals.
Politics has also started heating up regarding this issue. Leader of opposition Dr Govind Singh sought the resignation of the home minister saying the law and order situation in the state had collapsed.
“The spirits of the criminals are so high that even policemen are not spared. The home minister should resign from his post," he said.
Panchayat and rural development minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia said the police took prompt action and managed to identify and arrest two of them.
“Three are still absconding, they too would be arrested soon,” Sisodia told TOI.