By Patience Ogbodo
BAUCHI- THE Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed that 38 people have lost their livesÂ including the leader of the Islamic sect, Kalo-Kato while 20 peopleÂ were arrested following the religious crisis that engulfed some part of Bauchi metropolis on yesterday.
According to the state Police Commissioner, Atiku Kafur, 35 members of the Islamic religious sect including their leader, Mallam Badamasi were been killed in the shoot-out with security operatives while two residents of the area also lost their lives as well as one security personnel.
KafurÂ said that 20 suspects made up of nine adults and eleven minors have been arrested in connection with the incidence just as eighteen injured persons are currently receiving treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Bauchi.
He added that 16 persons were rescued from the rampaging Islamic militants.
The Police boss who gaveÂ a background cause of theÂ riot, said that â€œit all began when the DPO ofÂ Dutsen-Tanshi Police Station got a report that the leader of the sect, one Mallam Badamasi preached a message that was considered heretic by his neighbours and were not at ease about it considering that it can lead to crisis.
Kafur sttaed further that from the report reaching him, it was later discovered that Badamasi who is an indigene of Alkaleri LGA in Bauchi State preached out of frustration due to a strange illness he was suffering from and could not get immediate cure for.
According to him , â€œBadamasi was advised to consult the wife of one of his followers to get a cure for his illness which he did and the woman told him that his affliction was caused by some of his followers who plot to kill him and so for him to get cured he must get rid of themâ€.
He stated thatÂ the discovery brought a division in the sect while some left, others stayed with the sect leader adding that the inciting message Badamasi preached that fateful day was an attack on his enemies which led some of the residents to report the sect leader to men of the Operation Flush, a military outfit which drafted six soldiers to the scene and tried to stop the preaching.
According to Kafur, unfortunately,the rampaging militants killed one soldier on the spot and took his AK47 rifle loaded with ammunition after which the group then retreated and started fighting each other, a development which later extended to other members of the society.
â€œThe DPO reported to me and we drafted Policemen to the area while the Brigade Commander sent his men for reinforcement pointing out however that the Police restrained themselves from using maximum force in order to minimize casualties saying, â€œas my men advanced, we used canisters aimed at minimizing causalities ad the militants soon came out of hiding while some were arrestedâ€
The Police Boss said on entering their enclave, his men discovered corpses which was a result of the in-fighting among the sect members with several limps of people severed assuring that the Command is on top of the situation while security measures have been intensified to ensure that the crisis did not escalate to the other areas of the state.