Pakur/New Delhi: The clash between police and a violent marauding mob of extremist Muslims on Bakrid on Wednesday in Pakur district of Jharkhand received at best a sketchy reportage from national and local media, but MyNation unearthed that it was a deliberate and pre-planned attempt by extremist elements aimed at repeating the gutting of Kaliachak police station in the neighbouring Malda district of Bengal in early 2016.

The immediate cause of the flare-up was slaughtering of nearly half-a-dozen cows on the campus of a primary school near the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Dangapada village. While the top officials of the local administration including the deputy commissioner (DC) and the superintendent of police (SP) responded to the crime, they realised through the clash that they had been targeted under a plan and ran the risk of losing their lives.

The call for killing the officials, gutting the office building of the sub-divisional police officer in which they were holed when violence broke out and for cow slaughter came allegedly from the parapets of several mosques in the vicinity of the village and the most violent in the mob had come from neighbouring Bengal. The calls to action were accompanied by chants of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.

Of the spate of FIRs lodged by the local administration, MyNation accessed that from the DC Dilip Kumar Jha and the Block Development Officer (BDO) Bhola Mandal and the story they have told in there is spine chilling.

A call was received on police emergency number 100 on Wednesday at 10:15 at the Maheshpur police station. The caller, a chowkidar, complained that cow slaughter was underway in the primary school. The station incharge along with the BDO and several constables responded to the call and reached the spot at 11:15.

According to the DC, the responding contingent saw “cow being slaughtered by slitting their throats”. “Upon further investigation, it was learnt that many other cattle had been slaughtered at another place, all under orders from a Maulvi,” the DC’s FIR added.

Both the FIRs note that videography of the crime scene revealed that “severed heads of cows, skin, bones of the denture, and blood” were strewn all over the place along with 10 kilograms of beef.

The investigating party was then surrounded by over 200 people who started pelting stones and attacked with sticks and other weapons. “Due to being less in number, the investigation team had to withdraw from the scene as they could also be killed,” notes the DC.

The police party then informed the higher ups of the development and retraced its steps to the Maheshpur police station. “We received intel that Maulvis from several mosques in villages under the Maheshpur police station’s jurisdiction such as Sohbil, Makdumpur, Dangapara, Seelampur, Teltuliya, Kanijhara, Chaptura, Englishpara etc had called upon people to reach the crime spot to avenge the seizure of beef meant for Bakrid by the police. The calls were made accompanied by slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’,” Mandal’s account said.

“Maulvis also called for repeating the Kaliachak incident,” Mandal added.

In the meanwhile, the DC and SP reached Maheshpur police station to get a briefing from the investigation party and other district officials.

The DC notes: “We were also receiving information that thousands of people from Bengal were marching to Maheshpur. In the meanwhile, hundreds of miscreants coming from the side of Muraroi in Bengal besieged the SDPO office showing Pakistani flags and shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.  

“The mob attacked the office with stones and started firing bullets on the office. They also hurled bombs. Many officials, including the DC, were injured,” Mandal narrates the horror.

The mob also attacked a Hindu temple in the vicinity of the SDPO office and tried to desecrate it.

Fearing for their lives, the police declared and the announced the imposition of Section 144, which the mob paid no heed to and continued the attack.

Calling it a “pre-planned conspiracy”, the DC defended police firing that followed. When tear gas failed to deter the miscreants, the police opened fire on the attackers.

According to eyewitness accounts and the FIRs, the police fored almost 250 rounds. In turn, after the mob ran helter skelter, the police recovered several muskets and a large cache of ammunition, both spent and live from the scene. Ali Husssain, who was shot in both his legs, was found clinging to a country-made pistol and many live cartridges. The police also seized 10 motorbikes from the spot.

Of the miscreants 10 were chased and arrested, 45 identified apart from the 950 unidentified so far.