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28 Dec 2016

Drama over dog and body

Villagers follow the dog Mili. (Sekh Abubakkar Siddik)
SNEHAMOY CHAKRABORTY, TT, Bolpur, Dec. 27: An alleged police ploy to take away a body while residents of a Birbhum village followed a sniffer dog, an unusual sight in many rural pockets, sparked a mob fury that ultimately forced the law-enforcers to bring the deceased back from hospital.
A police team had come to Sukhbazar village in Bolpur this morning after being informed that the body of a farmer, Paresh Lohar, 45, was found hanging from a tree in a forest around 1km from his home. Lohar's family and many villagers alleged he had been murdered and staged a demonstration, preventing the police from taking the body away for a post-mortem.
The police had to bring in a sniffer dog, the German Shepherd Mili, from Durgapur. As soon as Mili smelt the footwear of Lohar, it began running towards his home. Around 400 villagers, who had demanded that a sniffer dog be brought for the probe, followed Mili out of curiosity.
When they returned to the spot where Lohar was found hanging, they found that the body was no longer there. Alleging that the police had tricked them, the villagers began another round of agitation. They threatened to beat up the policemen and set the cops' vehicles on fire.
The police was forced to bring the body back from the morgue of Bolpur sub-divisional hospital, where it had been taken for the post-mortem.
After the body was brought back, Mili was directed to smell it again. The dog roamed around the village for around 20 minutes, after which the police told the villagers that it had found nothing serious. Some villagers then came forward to pacify the others. Finally, the police were allowed to take Lohar's body away again around 2pm.
The police denied the charge of trickery. They said they had informed a villager, who had claimed he had the consent of Lohar family for the body to be taken for a post-mortem.
A senior officer said the police contingent that had reached the village was large but they did not take any coercive measures fearing that the situation would spin out of control. "I have never heard a body being brought back to pacify residents," he said.
Bhuban Lohar, the nephew of the deceased, said: "The police played a trick and when all the villagers were following the dog, they took away the body without telling us."

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