KHUNTI: A person died during a stampede triggered by the police lobbing tear gas shells and using batons to disperse a mob obstructing their search operation to rescue three policemen, who were abducted by 'Pathalgarhi' supporters in Khunti district, a senior police officer said.
The policemen were abducted from BJP MP Karia Munda's residence at Anigada-Chandih yesterday.
As the police launched an operation to free the cops, they were attacked by the villagers at Ghagra with arrows, swords and stones.
The police lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to baton charge that led to the stampede in which several policemen and villagers were injured, Additional Director General of Police R K Malik said The supporters of 'Pathalgarhi' escaped from the village, the ADGP said, adding that 60 people were detained.
Malik said those indulging in such activities in the name of 'Pathalgarhi' would be dealt with as per the law.
The ADGP said some people tried to obstruct the police from executing the arrest warrant yesterday against the main accused, Yusuf Purti, who managed to flee but his property has been attached.
Inspector General of Police Naveen Kumar said the police were repeatedly telling the villagers not to be misguided by some people.
"Our intention is not to arrest any innocent person. We are prepared to talk anywhere, but they should not take law in their hands," the IGP said.
The police said the supporters of 'Pathalgarhi' took out a procession and barged into the house of Munda, and took away the three policemen with them at Anigada-Chandihdih village of the district.
They also snatched their weapons.
Munda was not in the house when the incident happened around 2 pm yesterday, police said.
'Pathalgarhi' is reportedly a practice in which villagers inscribe various tenets on huge stone slabs and ban outsiders in the area.