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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sitting in haunted room? No chance, say UP cops!

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Deoria (Uttar Pradesh): Police personnel here fight armed bandits and notorious gangsters but they just don't seem to have the spirit to occupy a room at a police station believed to be haunted for 10 years by a cleric who died in a road accident.

The verandah is preferable to the office of the station house officer (SHO) at the Tarkaluwa police station in Deoria, about 300 km from the state capital Lucknow. The room has been empty for the last decade because of the belief that those who occupy it will come to harm.
"It is this popular belief that keeps an inspector away from his office at this police station," Tarkaluwa SHO Upendra Yadav told agency.
"Like my predecessors, I, too, would not be operating from that office," added Yadav, who took charge of the police station around six months ago.
Despite having a well-furnished office, Yadav, like his predecessors, operates from the verandah. From conducting meetings to listening to grievances of the public, Yadav does it all from the space outside the cabin.
According to the police station staff, senior officials in the past tried to persuade the SHOs to work from the cabin but to no avail.

According to locals, the office is haunted by a Muslim cleric, Maulana Baba, who died around two decades ago in a road accident a few metres way from the police station.
"It is said that the grievously injured Baba remained lying near the police station unattended, and ultimately died. Thereafter, Baba's spirit started haunting the office of the police station," said JS Dwivedi, who runs a stationery shop.

SHO Yadav denies any knowledge of the incident. "I really don't know how true it is... I just want to respect the sentiments of locals associated with this belief."

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