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Uttarakhand: BJP leader's murder sparks violence, cop burnt alive

August 23, 2009 21:09 IST

A local Bharatiya Janata Party leader was shot dead on Sunday, allegedly by a Bahujan Samaj Party activist, sparking massive violence in Uttarakhand's Nainital district. In the ensuing violence, a policeman was burnt alive by a mob, which also torched a police station and over a dozen vehicles.

Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing of Balwant Singh, head of Kotabagh block in the district, who was allegedly shot dead by BSP constituency in-charge Neeraj Tiwari in Kaladunghi police station, following a dispute on Saturday night.

Tiwari has been arrested by the police. Angry supporters of Singh attacked the police station today, setting it ablaze, and torched over a dozen vehicles, including those belonging to police and state roadways.

Head constable Puranlal was beaten by the mob, which threw him into the fire. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead, Senior Superintendent of Police Mohan Singh Bangyal said, adding that eight persons, including six police personnel, were injured in the violence.

The government has also ordered suspension of all police personnel who were on duty at the police station at the time of the killing of the BJP leader, chief minister's spokesman Anil Chandola said.

A joint action was launched by police, provincial armed constabulary personnel and commandos, who regained control of the police station by Sunday afternoon, the SSP said. Singh's supporters placed his body on a road near Haldwani Kotwali and blocked traffic. However, after senior officials assured them of prompt action against the guilty, the body was cremated.

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