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‘Had goosebumps, saw people brushing off death’, says reporter who captured the iconic image of a cop rescuing a girl during Karauli violence

Dainik Bhasker reporter Umesh Sharma had clicked the photograph showing constable Netresh Sharma rescuing a 3-year-old girl from burning houses during Karauli violence

While the Islamist violence that erupted in Rajasthan’s Karauli during a Hindu rally on April 2 is continuing to cause political ripples, the action of a brave police constable named Netresh Sharma amid the violence has attracted massive attention. On April 2, when Hindus across the world were celebrating their new year, religious tensions broke in Rajasthan’s Karauli when a motorcycle rally marking Nav Samvatsar passing through a Muslim neighbourhood was attacked. Incidentally, 42 people including cops were injured in the communal riots that broke out when stones were targeted at the rally conducted by Hindus.

Amidst the riots, when houses and vehicles were set on fire, policeman Netresh Sharma appeared as a hero to rescue the victims who were grappled in the communal outpour. Sharma rescued three women and a child from the sparks in the Hatwada Bazar area and ran through the narrow alleys of Karauli, the Photograph of which went viral on social media.

People on social media widely shared the image of constable Sharma holding the child tight in his arms running and praised him for saving human lives amid the riots. The mother of the child, Vinita Agrawal could also be seen in the photograph running behind constable Sharma to save herself. However, one person who went unreported in the entire incident was the reporter behind the camera who captured the strongest image of the Karauli violence.

Umesh Sharma, a journalist at Dainik Bhasker who clicked the picture said that he had goosebumps when he saw Sharma, the little girl, and her mother coming out of the sparks safe. According to the report, Umesh Sharma was informed about the stone-pelting incident at the Nav Samvatsar rally at around 5:30 pm on April 2. He confirmed the input and reached the spot only to see Hatwada Bazar torched up from all four sides. All the shops and residential areas were set ablaze as a consequence of Islamist violence in the area. People were screaming for help and escaping to safe areas away from the heat.

Sharma further said that Collector Rajendra Shekhawat, SP Shailendra Singh Indoulia, and other police officers were present at the spot and controlling the violent mob who continued to pelt stones. “Meanwhile, constable Netresh Sharma was checking the ablaze shops in the area to see if anyone was trapped and if anyone needed help. I was with him when he saw three women and a 3-year-old girl caught in the fire trap. He immediately wrapped the little girl Pihu in a cloth and ran away from the heat directing the women to follow him. And this moment was captured by my camera”, he added.

“People are praising me for clicking the viral picture but I know what that moment meant for me. I had seen three people brushing death aside and coming alive out of the fire”, he stated in an exclusive conversation with Dainik Bhasker. Umesh Sharma from Karauli has 12 years of experience in crime reporting.

In an update to the Karauli anti-Hindu violence case, Rajasthan Police has registered an FIR against 37 people for instigating the violence. While the police have identified Congress Councillor Matloob Ahmed as the main conspirator in the case, it has booked BJP leader and Jaipur mayor Somya Gurjar’s husband Rajaram Gurjar for his alleged involvement in violence.

The Police have also booked convenor Neeraj Sharma who had applied for permission for the rally, Sahab Singh Gurjar, state president of the Hindu Sena, and Rajaram Gurjar, former Chairman of the Municipal Council, Karauli. To avoid clashes, 600 policemen including 50 deputy superintendents of police have been deployed in the city. Curfew has been imposed, internet service has been shut down as a consequence of the violence.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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