The Madhya Pradesh Police have arrested five persons on the charge of thrashing three persons, including two local Congress leaders, on July 26 night on the suspicion of being child-lifters. Armed with lathis, 20 residents of Nawal Singhana village, 35 km from Betul town, blocked a road towards Shahpur, waiting for a vehicle approaching from the Chicholi police station area, said Karthikeyan K., Betul Superintendent of Police. “They mistook its three occupants for child-lifters and started attacking them. But, when they realised they were local leaders, they ran away,” he said. Betul district Congress general secretary Dharmendra Shukla, party leader Dharmu Singh Lanjiwar and tribal leader Lalit Baraskar suffered minor injuries, while their vehicle was damaged.Later, they filed a complaint in the Shahpur police station, on which the police registered a case under sections 147 [Punishment for rioting] and 323 [Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt] of the Indian Penal Code. Five persons are yet to be arrested. The police suspect a viral video of a child-lifter at the Itarsi railway station, 90 km from Betul, to be the trigger. “The video is doing rounds in Betul, Harda and Hoshangabad districts. Although the immediate trigger of the incident is not yet known, it occurred after the video became viral,” said Mr. Karthikeyan. To arrest the growing trend of attacking persons on the suspicion of being child-lifters, the Betul police has begun organising jansamvad programmes with residents of five villages at a time. “We tell them to use the dial-100 facility in case they are suspicious of anyone and not take the law in their own hands. Now, we have started getting more calls, especially between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m..,” said Mr. Karthikeyan. Responding to a call, a dial-100 vehicle visits the spot to ascertain whether the person in question is a child-lifter or not. “Though it may increasing our workload, it is an effective way to control the situation,”he said. The Shahpur police station received 10-15 calls relating to child-lifters every day, the most in the district, he added.
Zaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs.Frontline Indian bowlers suffered a humiliating hammering at the hands of Northamptonshire openers as the home side racked up 198 for no loss by tea on the final day of the two-day warm-up game on Saturday.Right-handed Mal Loye (97) and left-handed Niall O’ Brien (85) were not separated at the tea break as the visitors went through their motions in the field.Northamptonshire trail by 154 runs with 10 wickets intact in their first innings. India had made 352 all out in their first innings.Zaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs before he parked himself in the pavilion and did not come out thereafter at all. By the looks, things do not appear too bright for the left-arm seamer ahead of the third Test between India and England at Edgbaston starting on April 10.Loye and Brien batted with authority and imposed themselves on the Indian bowlers even though leg-spinner Amit Mishra would feel that the umpire at his end was particularly hard on a couple of his genuine appeals.Pacers S Sreesanth and Munaf Patel were treated without respect by the Northants openers for 51 runs in their 10 overs each while Mishra conceded 44 runs from 17 overs. Part-timer Suresh Raina was punished for 21 runs from his five overs.As the end of post-lunch session drew nearer, Indians had begun to bowl no-balls and conceding byes off the errant bowling.Northamptonshire’s top order did not have a particularly good time at the crease this season so this success of their openers would particularly rankle the visitors.advertisement- With PTI inputs