Complaint against sawmill turns fatal for brothers

Their only fault was that they dared to complain to the forest officials about the sawmill being operated illegally by a district panchayat member in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district, about 150 km from here, and they had to pay for that with their lives.

The owner of the sawmill Ram Pratap Saroj and his goons beat the two complainants-both brothers-identified as Pappu Pathan and Anees Pathan- with sticks and rods on Saturday night.

The two died on the spot, according to police sources. Reports said that Anees and Pappu had lodged a complaint with the district forest officer that the sawmill was being operated illegally.

A team of forest department officials reached the spot located at Antu in the district to check the documents and found that the complaint was correct.

They directed Saroj to close the sawmill and warned of stern action if the direction was not complied with.

Angry over the complaint, Saroj and his goons attacked the two brothers, who had also reached there on getting the information, as soon as the forest officials left the scene.

According to reports, the bodies of the brothers were then thrown into a roadside pond.

A mob, that had later assembled there, went on the rampage and indulged in heavy stone pelting at the police personnel, who arrived there to take the bodies to the hospital for postmortem examination.

The cops were reportedly roughed up by the mob.

Several police personnel received injuries, sources said.

Tension prevailed in the area and security personnel in strength had been deployed to maintain law and order.

A case has been registered and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits, who were absconding. Police officers said that the forest officials had not informed them initially about the raid else they would have sent some policemen with them.

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