Sunday, May 8, 2011

‘I owe my life to 3 caring villagers’

Aniruddha Ghosal & Purusharth Aradhak

Greater Noida: Devender Singh, a police constable from Meerut who was grievously injured in the clash between the police and farmers in Bhatta Parsaul village, owes his life to the three villagers who saved his life and helped him escape.
Constable Devender Sigh had been called on duty at the last minute to Bhatta Parsaul and got caught in exchange of fire between the police and the farmers. He was then overpowered by the villagers in the confusion that followed after the district magistrate, Deepak Aggarwal, was shot. Singh recalled, “I was surrounded by the villagers who snatched my rifle and my wallet from me. Then they beat me on the head repeatedly with a bamboo stick. After the third blow, my helmet broke but they didn’t stop and kept hitting me on the head and then I collapsed.”
“I was on the ground and I could see some villagers with a revolver near me. Others were coming towards me with a bamboo stick that had a knife attached at the end. It was at this moment that I thought I was going to die. But three villagers stopped them and convinced them to spare me life,” said Singh, who is currently admitted in Kailash Hospital in Noida. He has 18 stitches on his head and numerous other injuries. Doctors added that he is currently out of danger.

Bhatta Parsaul On Edge After Brutal Crackdown By Cops, Police Round Up Men, Others Flee

Greater Noida:A day after the clash between the administration and farmers, where two policemen and two farmers lost their lives, Bhatta Parsaul village remained tense, engulfed in the aftermath of Saturday’s violence.
Incidentally, of the 7,000 inhabitants of the village, only women, children and the elderly remain — all its men have either been allegedly rounded up by the PAC or have fled the village.
According to the womenfolk in the village, soon after the district magistrate was taken to the hospital and senior officials followed him, the several hundred Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel and local policemen manning the village went berserk. They ransacked their homes, allegedly looted some shops, set fire to whatever village property they could lay their hands upon and dragged all men out of their homes, beat them up mercilessly and took them to some unknown destination. Those men, who could manage, fled from the village.
“Last evening around 6 pm some policemen entered my
house and began beating up my husband and son. They then dragged them outside and asked the rest of us women to remain inside. My husband and son have not returned since,” said Gulchaman, a resident. “I do not know whether they are injured and have been taken to hospital or if they are dead,” she added.
Most of the women in the village echo Gulchaman’s tale, unsure whether the male mem
bers of their family have been taken away by the PAC, have been injured in the agitation, or have simply fled to some safer spot.
Not only were the policemen brutal on the men they could lay their hands on, they even did not let the injured elderly go out of their houses for treatment. It was only after media persons reached the village on Sunday morning and complained to senior cops that
the injured elderly men were taken to the hospital in Noida in the afternoon.
Fifty-year-old Parveen Bano’s three sons, Yakub, Aleem and Shameem, fled along with several other men as soon as the PAC personnel began rounding up the villagers. On Sunday evening, she received a call from her eldest son Yakub, informing her that he was injured and recuperating at Kailash Hospital in Greater Noida.
She has no information on the whereabouts of her other two sons.
“The policemen spared no one, they beat up all our men folk, misbehaved with the younger women, beat up the elderly and left them to die inside their homes while they took our men away. Those men who could manage, fled the village and all that we can do now is to pray that they are still alive,” she said.

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