From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
One person was reportedly killed while two others sustained injuries at the weekend in Uruto quarters of Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State following violent clashes between members of local vigilante and some youths over alleged missing fishes in a fish pond.
Although the identity of the dead victim was not known as at press time, the Oletu (vigilante head) of Uruto quarter, Mr. Bernard Aliyogbe and his son were said to have suffered severe injuries.
Besides the human casualties, Aliyogbe’s house was allegedly razed in what appeared to be a reprisal attack by some youths on members of the local vigilance group.
Trouble started when a group of boys who had gone on fishing expedition at a fish pond owned by a different person were allegedly accosted by members of the local vigilante for questioning over their activities at the pond.
But the interrogation resulted in a heated argument and exchange of words which later degenerated into fracas between members of the opposing groups as they were obviously poised for a showdown.
In the ensuing fracas, our correspondent learnt, there were sporadic gunshots, leading to a bedlam. It was further gathered that in the midst of the confusion, one person who was hit by a bullet died after efforts to revive him went futile.
Irked by the unfortunate incident, irate youths mobilized and invaded the home of Aliyogbe and unleashed mayhem on him and his son, razing his house in the process.
Aliyogbe and his son whose ears were allegedly cut off during the attack were said to be in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital where they were rushed to for medical attention.
Confirming the incident however, Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP Celestina Kalu said those who had gone to the fish pond were armed robbers, adding that the dead victim was a member of the robbery gang.
Kalu said members of the local vigilante led by Aliyogbe accosted the gang of suspected robbers “evacuating fish in Uruto family pond”, disclosing that in the ensuing encounter, one of the suspects was killed.
“The gang re-mobilized and attacked the residence of Aliyogbe and beat him into coma. They set his house ablaze and escaped,” she added.
Stating that the situation has been brought under control, Kalu added that the corpse of the suspected member of the robbery gang has been deposited at the mortuary of the General Hospital, Ozoro.