PATNA: Tension prevailed in Dhanarua’s Moriyawan village on Saturday following last evening’s police firing, in which a Dalit youth was killed and three villagers sustained injuries. Besides, 30 others, including 16 policemen, were injured in brick batting that ensued after the incident, said police.
The police firing took place at the Moriyawan, around 44 kilometres South-East of the state capital, where Panchayat election is scheduled on October 24. The body of the victim was lifted from the village Saturday morning when police and political leaders reached the spot and assured the locals of action against the culprits.
Patna DM Chandrasekhar Singh has ordered magisterial inquiry into the incident and asked the Masaurhi SDO and SDPO to submit joint reports within 24 hours.
According to the DM, the role of Masaurhi circle inspector is under scanner and senior officials are probing the matter. “The district administration will provide ex-gratia to the next to kin of the deceased as per rules. Post-mortem has been conducted with videography in presence of a magistrate,” said the DM, adding that police fired in the air in self-defence and it was not aimed at the crowd.
The villagers, however, alleged that one Rohit Choudhary, professionally an electrician, who was on his way to village, was hit by a bullet and died. Sita Paswan, 52, said that when she came from outside the village, police thrashed her mercilessly and broke her left hand.
Patna SSP Upendra Sharma said that 16 policemen sustained injuries and had to fire in self defence, which hit some people. “Impartial probe would be conducted into the incident from all angles. One FIR will lodge on police statement, while another will be lodged by the victims. It is a matter of investigation as to why the police had to open fire,” he added.
The SSP said that the police had gone to stop campaigning beyond the permissible time. “During that time, there was a scuffle to stop the blaring loudspeaker. It soon turned into stone pelting. The entire matter is being probed and the culprits will not be spared,” he added.
The villagers alleged that police resorted to lathi-charge around 7pm when they assembled near a temple. “The police team led by circle inspector Ram Kumar raided the village fourth time within three days and forced them to cast their vote in favour of former mukhia Ranjan Yadav,” they added.
Another villager Devanti Devi said that the incident took place when present mukhia Suresh Sao campaigned in the village after 6pm with a music system. Suddenly a contingent of police forces reached the village and started lathi-charge. Irate over the police action, villagers pelted stones on the police.
An eyewitness to the incident, Shashi Kumar, said first the police lathi charged the villagers and when the villagers retaliated by hurling stones, the police opened fire on them. Three villagers—Birendra Kumar, Neeraj Kumar and Milan Kumar—received bullet injuries and all of them were admitted to PMCH where their condition was stated to be out of danger.
Patna range IG Sanjay Singh said additional police forces including 35 officers and 500 jawans have been deputed on the spot.
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