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Pugachyov residents block federal highway protesting against murder of town resident

July 09, 2013, 23:54 UTC+3

By the evening, according to reports reaching from Pugachyov, traffic was resumed

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PUGACHYOV, Saratov region, July 9 (Itar-Tass) - Residents of the town of Pugachyov in the Saratov region on Tuesday staged another protest action following the murder of a local resident by a Chechen native.

They blocked the federal highway linking Samara and Volgograd stopping all traffic. By the evening, according to reports reaching from Pugachyov, traffic was resumed. The several-kilometer column of protesters had several thousands of people. Among the march’s participants were many young people and women with children, even with newborns. The police made several attempts to stop the protesters. Saratov region’s deputy governor Denis Fadeyev arrived at the scene to calm down the people. The action was cut short by a pouring rain and hail accompanied by stormy wind. The bad weather forced many of the protesters to go home.

After the thirty-minute rain, Fadeyev managed to talks those who remained on the highway to have a meeting with him on Wednesday evening in front of the administration building. The participants were taken to the town by buses that had been engaged by the local authorities.

Protests of the Pugachyov residents were prompted by the murder of a 20-year-old local dweller. A suspected murderer is a 16-year-old young man of the Chechen origin. Following this incident, the locals demanded all out-of-towners be expelled from Pugachyov.

Commenting on the situation, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said the person guilty of the incident in the town of Pugachyov should be punished. “We have the constitution, the criminal code,” he stressed. “All are equal before them and those who violate them must be brought to responsibility, regardless of their ethnic identity, religion or political attitudes.” In his words, it is up to investigators to analyze the situation. “It is in their competences to establish the guilt and bring to liability those responsible,” he said. “But is it absolutely obvious that it was a domestic incident; there was no ethnic issue involved.”

On July 6, a row occurred between the suspect and a 20-year-old local resident which escalated into a fight. The adolescent who had been carrying a lancet, inflicted various cuts on his opponent. The local resident was rushed to hospital where he later died.

Meanwhile, the Russian Investigations Committee said experienced investigators from Moscow would conduct the probe into the murder. Criminal proceedings were opened against a 16-year-old Chechen, who is accused of murder.


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