Satwas: With the pandemic crisis on the rise, the reality on Ground Zero is getting harsher by the day. Barely a fortnight after a Dalit couple was beaten up by cops who allegedly tried to remove them from a piece of land in Guna, the scene turned chaotic in Atwas village in Dewas district when a woman attempted self-immolation after an anti-encroachment drive was carried out through her farm.
The victim Shabra Bi, 45, resident of Atwas under Satwas police station, about 55 kilometres from the district headquarters, received 20% burns and was referred to a hospital in Indore where her condition is stable, said police.
The incident took place on Tuesday, but came to light on Thursday after a video went viral on social media in which the woman is seen setting herself ablaze in front of a team of government personnel while a JCB is seen destroying the crop in her farm.
Corroborating the incident, Additional SP, Dewas, Jagdish Dawar said, “We had gone to remove the encroachment, but the woman protested and set herself on fire. The woman sustained injuries and has been referred to the hospital.”
Shabri’s husband, Ramzan Khan, alleged that the authorities ignored their pleas to stop the encroachment. “A joint team of revenue and police departments came with a JCB machine to uproot the soybean crop. They turned down our pleas.
“We are very poor and solely depend upon this crop which was being cultivated on a 2-bigha land. The team of government personnel beat us up and pushed her. I don’t know from where she (Shabri) got kerosene from and doused herself in it. Before we realised anything, she was ‘on fire’,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, three officers, including two Patwaris, Kishore Chavare, Dilip Jat and revenue inspector Rajendra Dhurve – were injured in the attack and rushed to a hospital for primary treatment. They were discharged soon after, Parihar said.
A case was registered against 11 persons, including the woman, under sections 147, 353, 332, 294 and 506 of the IPC for creating obstacles in government work.
Memo from Patwaris
Members of Madhya Pradesh Patwari Sangh submitted a memorandum to tehsildar Dr Priyanka Chaurasiya. They addressed it to the district collector demanding immediate arrest of miscreants who attacked the revenue department team.