'Reports of Sand Mafia Setting Deputy Forest Ranger on Fire Wrong'
At variance with circulating media reports, the alleged attack of deputy forest ranger Phoolel Singh and the attempt to burn him alive could be the consequence of an altercation gone askew and may not be an act of retaliation by the sand mafia.
Senior police officials who are privy to the investigation reports of the case said it suggested that deputy ranger Phoolel Singh, who was posted at Sanjay Tiger Reserve of Singrauli district, and the accused Pintu Singh were under the influence of alcohol when an argument broke out between the two.
“Both of them were sitting around a bonfire and consuming alcohol. Later, they got into a heated argument, which turned into a scuffle and reportedly both of them fell into the bonfire,” a senior police official said. The incident took place in Devara village, 700 km from here.
Pintu Singh, who is a farmer, fled to Uttar Pradesh after the incident.
“He has also suffered burns on his back and we have despatched a team to nab him,” sources added. The deputy ranger, who sustained burns, has been admitted to the district hospital and his condition is reported to be stable.
According to unconfirmed reports, Phulel Singh had caught Pintu along with his accomplishes and impounded their tractor, while they were illegally ferrying sand from Son River.