There was tension Wednesday evening in Beji community as an 18 -year old Secondary School leaver, Abdulkarim Labaran Mohammed was shot dead allegedly by a policeman.
However, the police said it was not yet clear whether one of his men or a member of the vigilante group committed the act.
The incident was said to have occurred when policemen of the Maikunkele Division and the members of the vigilante group in the area were trying to save a suspected ritualist from mob action.
The suspected ritualist was said to have touched another man who claimed that his private part had disappeared because of the act and had raised an alarm.
The incident was said to have attracted many traders who had converged in the Beji market for the day’s business.
The youths among them were said to have descended on the suspect and that concerned persons had alerted the police in Maikunkele Division, which dispatched its men to the scene.
It was further learnt that on arrival at the market, the team of policemen assisted by some vigilance group rescued the suspect, put him inside the police patrol van with the view to taking him and the complainant to the station for investigation but the mob meting out justice on the suspect there.
Sources said in the ensuing melee, one of the policemen tried to shot into the air to stop the mob but a stray bullet hit the deceased who died instantly, triggering protest by the youths who blocked the main access road which lined Minna with Zungeru.
One of the source said reinforcement by the command saved the situation from escalating.
However, the State Police Command, DSP Muhammed Abubakar said it was not certain whether one of its men was responsible for the death of Abdulkarim.
According to him, “an irate mob, numbering about 700, blocked the Beji – Zungeru highways and attacked both the police and Vigilante rescue teams with stones and other dangerous weapons as a result of which a gun shot was fired by yet to be identified member of the team which hit the deceased”.
DSP Abubakar assured that the matter was already being investigated at the SCIID, Minna , while the remains of the deceased have been deposited at the mortuary section of the Federal Medical Centre Bida, while the victim who claimed to have lost his manhood was also on admission for observation and treatment at the hospital.
He also stated that the suspected ritualist who was accused of taking the victim’ s manhood was being detained for questioning at one of the police cells at the SCIID in Minna.