GUWAHATI: The police in a Meghalaya district have launched a massive hunt for a mentally-unstable man who has gone into hiding after stealing a service rifle of a cop.
Rumours that the accused, Ahidul Islam (35), was shot at by the police saw a mob going on the rampage at Mahendraganj police station in South West Garo Hills on Monday. The incident forced district authorities to clamp prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC which have still remained in force.
South West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate) Ram Kumar S told this newspaper that the situation was under control.
“An entire police team is searching for him. The BSF is coordinating. But as of now, we don’t know where he is,” Kumar said.
The India-Bangladesh border is just a few hundred meters away from the site of incident and Kumar ruled out the possibility of Islam crossing over saying he could not have escaped the watchful eyes of BSF sentries.
“He is not mentally fully fit and might have a history of anti-social behaviour,” Kumar said, adding, “He cannot fire the weapon (Insas). You need training to do so”.
On Sunday night, the police had received a complaint about a man, who is mentally-unstable, brandishing a machete in a public place. When they reached the site, he allegedly attempted to attack the personnel. Later, in a bid to nab him, a constable dropped his service rifle which the accused stole. Instantly, he fled under the cover of darkness.
A policeman had fired a blank shot to try and scare the man but it yielded no results.
The next morning, rumours spread that the man was shot at by the police. Soon, a mob of around 400 people laid siege to the police station and damaged some vehicles by pelting stones. The police restored order by firing a few rounds of blank shots.
The DM said a probe would be ordered into the incident.