Gwalior: The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has ordered a judicial inquiry to investigate the murder of an Indian Police Service officer, Narendra Kumar. The death has outraged India because Mr Kumar was apparently killed for trying to combat illegal mining in the state. The IPS is not a law enforcement agency; it is a civil service which selects officers via competitive exams. Here are ten big facts on this case:
1) IPS officer Narendra Kumar was killed on Thursday when a man driving a tractor ran over him. Mr Kumar had tried to stop the tractor, which was loaded with illegally-mined stones in the Morena district. Mr Kumar spotted the tractor while he was out patrolling. When the driver refused to stop, Mr Kumar got out of his jeep and blocked the tractor's path. The driver ploughed into him. Morena district is rich in stones meant for construction and the sand here is one of the finest in the country.
2) The tractor driver, identified as Manoj Gurjar by the local police, has been arrested. An inquiry has been ordered by the government to determine his alleged links to the state's notorious and expansive mining mafia. The local police denies that he was part of a larger conspiracy to assassinate Mr Kumar, as alleged by his family.
3) Mr Kumar was posted at Banmore as a Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) a month ago and had taken on the mining mafia by cancelling several licenses and seizing a number of trucks and tractors engaged in illegal quarrying.
4) Mr Kumar was 30. His wife, an IAS officer named Madhurani Tewatia, is expecting their first child.
5) One of the senior policemen handling the case, DP Gupta, said that going by eyewitness accounts and evidences available so far, it appears that the driver had no links with the mining mafia.
6) Inspector General of Police S W Naqvi said that though he was known locally for his attempts to curb the mining mafia, Mr Kumar had never reported any kind of threat to his life.
7) His father, Keshav Dev, describes Mr Kumar's killing as a well-planned conspiracy. "He did not receive cooperation of the local police. He stopped vehicles carrying stones to check then. Is this the work of the IPS officer, or the work of a thana-level policeman?"
8) Mr Kumar was cremated with full state honours in his village near Mathura today. Many people who live in and around his village showed up to support his family.
9) Narendra Singh Tomar, the local MP, who is from the ruling BJP, has refuted allegations by the opposition that several BJP leaders play backstage roles in the state's illegal mining.
10) Mr Kumar's four sisters say an honest man has been killed for his attempt to fight corruption. They remember him as the bright young boy who urged his family when he was just five years old to transfer him from his village school to one in the nearby town of Mathura so that he could get a better education.