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Angry over the death of a man and some animals due to short-circuit, locals in Bani tehsil of Kathua district tied a Junior Engineer (JE) of Power Development Department (PDD) to an electric poll for several hours on Tuesday.

According to SHO Bani, Mohan Lal, the PDD employee Muzzafar Sheikh was held hostage by the people of ChackSurjan village, some 3 kilometers from Bani Tehsil.

The police officer said that on Mondayevening, a man, Ramesh Kumar (24) son of Jagdish Kumar of ChackSurjan village, two buffaloes, cows and a dog were electrocuted due to short-circuit in the village transformer.

He said that on Tuesday morning, the locals gathered at the spot of the incident and shouted slogans against the PDD and district administration for not reaching out to them.

“Accordingly, I and the tehsildar concerned reached the spot and tried to pacify the protesters by assuring them a fair probe into the deaths due to negligence. To our surprise, the JE also reached the spot without informing the police,” he said.

“Noticing the JE at the spot, the locals got more infuriated and took law into their hand and held the JE hostage for some hours,” he further said, adding, “Somehow, we further pacified the protesters and released the PDD employee from the illegal detention.”

The SHO said that taking cognizance of the death of man and animals, inquest proceedings under section 174 of CrPC have been launched, while the JE is yet to lodge a written complaint with the Bani police station.

“However, we’ve initiated the probe into this incident. Those who took law in their hands shall be dealt with strict provisions of the law of the land,” he said.