Tension continues to grip Munger town and the surrounding areas in Bihar after violence was heaped at a Hindu procession for Durga idol immersion. An 18-year-old youth has reportedly been killed and several others injured in the firing that took place on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. 20 policemen including SHOs of Sangarmpur, Kotwali, Kasim Bazar, Basudeopur police stations were also injured in the ensuing violence. The injured persons have been admitted to the Sadar hospital here.
The Munger violence during Durga Puja Visarjan
The violence, as per reports, broke out after Kotwali police asked Hindus not to delay the idol immersion procession of Shadipur Badi Durga. Traditionally, the idols are immersed after three days of Vijayadashami but this time, in view of the first phase of Assembly polls in the state on Wednesday, the administration had insisted on the immersion by 5 am on Tuesday.
Durga puja organizers, as instructed, had taken out the procession allegedly with DJs close to midnight as they headed for the immersion. The situation turned ugly around 11.50 pm when police officials used brutal force on Hindus going for Durga Puja Visarjan.
The police reportedly unilaterally beat up four persons who were carrying idols on their shoulders. This sparked off a protest which led to the ensuing violence.
While the police did lathi-charge against the Hindus, the police have claimed that the participants of the procession allegedly also pelted stones. However, eyewitnesses revealed that the police opened fire at the procession thereafter and that tear gas shells were also used.
While the videos show how Hindus were brutally beaten up by the police, the police have alleged that the participants of the procession pelted stones and used firearms. According to reports, the police have detained a hundred people in connection with the incident. While the locals alleged that the police excess led to the clash, the police have claimed that twelve rounds were fired from the crowd which led the police to retaliate.
“The mob pelted stones and opened fire on police which led to the death of one person and injured 27 people including 20 policemen,” Munger’s superintendent of police Lipi Singh said.
Munger’s district magistrate Rajesh Meena and superintendent of police Lipi Singh had rushed to the spot and remained at the site of the clash till 3 am until the situation was brought completely under control. A heavy police force has been deployed in Deen Dayal Chowk and the surrounding areas after the incident. SP Lipi Singh has said that the situation has been brought under control.