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Violence in Munger after youth’s death in alleged police firing; poll panel removes SP, DM


Munger_violence--_PTI

MUNGER: A day after a youth was fatally injured allegedly in police firing, violence erupted in Bihar’s Munger city on Thursday in which several vehicles were torched and police stations and offices of top district officials were vandalised.

The Election Commission has ordered the removal of Superintendent of Police Lipi Singh and District Magistrate Rajesh Meena.

The EC has sought a report from the district administration within a week and posted new DM Rachana Patil and Manavjeet Singh Dhillon as SP.

The Election Commission has asked Magadh Divisional Commissioner Asangba Chuba Ao to complete the probe within a week.

Munger District Magistrate Rajesh Meena (2012-batch IAS officer) has been transferred to the General Administration Department (GAD), while SP Lipi Sigh (2016-batch IPS officer) has been moved to the state police headquarters, the Home Department said.

Hours later, the Bihar government, on the instructions of the Election Commission, named 2010-batch IAS officer Rachna Patil as the new District Magistrate and 2009-batch IPS officer Manavjit Singh Dhillon as new SP.

Patil was working as Registrar of Cooperative Societies in the Cooperative Department, while Dhillon was a Special Task Force SP.

Reports said mob violence engulfed the city following the death of Anurag Kumar, who had on Tuesday sustained bullet injuries in alleged police firing.

The Munger police had allegedly resorted to firing and baton charge on a group of youths taking out an immersion procession of Goddess Durga on Tuesday.

A mob vandalised the SP office and SDO offices at the district headquarters and damaged local police stations besides burning many vehicles.

Alleging that no action was taken against the SP and other police personnel over the Monday night incident, the agitators allegedly torched muffasil and women police stations in the town.

They also allegedly set police outposts at Purab Sarai and Basudeopur on fire, and ransacked the SP office and several other police stations and outposts.

The office of Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) was also allegedly targeted by the protestors, official sources said.

Witnesses said that finding themselves outnumbered, the police personnel at all these stations escaped from the premises.

Official sources said the agitators went berserk and also tried to set kotwali and Kasim bazar police stations on fire, but there they faced a strong resistance from the policemen who fired in the air to disperse the mob.

The protesters burnt tyres near Rajiv Chowk in the Munger town, demanding action against the SP and the police personnel responsible for allegedly opening fire during the idol immersion procession.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Yadav has demanded strict action in the case as well as a probe by a retired High Court judge.

The firing has led to the lowest polling in the city. LJP leader Chirag Paswan also demanded action against the police.

DIG Manu Maharaj was camping in the city to control the situation, reports said.

The EC ordered an inquiry by Asangba Chuba, Divisional Commissioner of Magadh, to identify lapses, if any, and the perpetrators of the violence.

Cops jump into action

Additional Director General Jitendra Kumar said extra police force has been sent to Munger. DIG, Munger, Manu Maharaj led a flag march in Munger town to bring the situation under control.

Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Jitendra Kumar told PTI-Bhasha in Patna that extra police force has been sent to Munger.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Munger, Manu Maharaj led a flag march in Munger town to bring the situation under control.

The RJD-helmed Grand Alliance has strongly criticised the Monday incident, likening the district police with General Dyer of infamous Jallianwala Bagh incident in Punjab during British rule on April 13, 1919.

Coming on the eve of the first phase of polling, the incident had its impact voting too as two of the three Assembly seats -- Munger, Jamalpur -- in the district witnessed lower voter turnout as compared to the 2015 polls.

While Munger constituency had witnessed a poll percentage of 54.26 in 2015, it recorded 47.89 Wednesday.

Similarly, the decline was from 49.70 per cent to 47.24 per cent in Jamalpur this time.

But Tarapur constituency recorded a polling percentage of 54.80 this time compared to 52.66 in 2015.

State minister and senior JD(U) leader Shailesh Kumar is in the fray from Jamalpur seat.

Meanwhile, the police department has ordered the removal of in-charges of muffasil police station and Basudeopur outpost in connection with the October 26 firing and baton-charge incidents.

RCP Singh was mobbed Wednesday by angry protesters demanding action against the "guilty officials" when he visited Begusarai, where polling is scheduled for November 3.

Begusarai is the Lok Sabha seat of BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh who had condemned the Munger incident and sought action against "erring officials no matter how highly connected they may be".

(With PTI Inputs)

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)