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Mother-Daughter duo burnt alive during demolition drive in Kanpur, alleges family

Kanpur Dehat: In a shocking incident, a 45-year-old woman and her 20-year-old daughter died in a fire during an anti-encroachment drive at a village in Uttar Pradesh`s Kanpur Dehat district.

While the police said the two women set themselves on fire, their family claimed it was the cops who set their hut ablaze when the women were inside, which resulted in the deaths.

The incident took place in the Madauli village in the Rura area of the district, late on Monday evening, where the police, district administration and revenue officials had gone to remove encroachments from a “gram samaj” or government land, a police official said. The villagers said that the officials arrived with a bulldozer and they were not given any prior notice.

“They started the fire while people were still inside. We were just about able to escape. They broke our temple. Nobody did anything, not even the district magistrate. Everybody ran, nobody could save my mother,” said Shivam Dixit.

The police, however, said that Pramila Dixit and her daughter Neha set themselves on fire.

Rura Station House Officer (SHO) Dinesh Gautam and Pramila`s husband, Gendan Lal, also sustained burn injuries while trying to save the women, a police officer said.

Superintendent of Police (SP) BBGTS Murthy, meanwhile, said, “The woman and her daughter locked themselves inside the hut and set it on fire which has resulted in their death. We will investigate and if there is any wrongdoing, we will not spare the guilty.”

He said, “Whenever there is an anti-encroachment drive, a video is shot. We have asked for the video and will investigate it.”

Meanwhile, tension prevails in the village and incidents of stone pelting at the police have also been reported.

The villagers are demanding a FIR against the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Maitha) Gyaneshwar Prasad, Lekhpal Singh and others for the alleged murder.

Additional Director General of Police (Kanpur zone) Alok Singh, along with Divisional Commissioner Raj Shekhar, visited the village to pacify the crowd and have assured action against guilty persons.

The Samajwadi Party has blamed the insensitive administration for the murders.

The Samajwadi Party tweeted, “Under the Yogi (Adityanath) government, Brahmin families are targeted and such incidents are taking place selectively. Like Dalits and backwards, Brahmins are also a target of atrocities of the Yogi government.”