A case of skirmishes between the locals and police has been reported from the Meghpur village of Sitamarhi district of Bihar. The incident is from two days ago, i.e October 3, 2020. While the police alleged that the clashes erupted based on a rumour, the villagers claim that the police inflicted brutality on them, threw their revered Goddess Durga’s idol in the water and opened fire at them.
As per media reports, a group of people were conducting Durga Puja at Meghpur in Sitamarhi district. An idol of the Goddess Durga was also being fashioned at the place. When police administration got the knowledge of the event, the station in-charge, along with a phalanx of police troops, reached the spot and disrupted the Durga Puja. He is also accused of removing the statue by the villagers. Enraged by the police officials’ actions, the villagers reportedly pelted stones at the police.
Accusations levelled by the Villagers against the police personnel
The locals who were carrying out the Durga Puja alleged that the police initially wanted to forcibly immerse the idols of their Gods in the water. However, later they lifted the idols of Ganesh, Saraswati, Karthik, Lakshmi etc., along with Goddess Durga, and threw them in Sareh, about one kilometer from the place of worship.
This triggered anger among villagers, who started pelting stones at the police for disrespecting the idols of their Gods. The villagers have alleged that the police officials who came to stop the Durga Puja were under the influence of alcohol and when the locals tried to confront them for lifting and dumping the idols in water, they fired in the air to repel them.
In the ensuing clashes, Palak Chaudhary’s son Raghavendra Chaudhary got injured due to bullet injury. He has been admitted to Sitamarhi’s private clinic for treatment. However, the police, in their defence, claim that Raghavendra was injured by a bullet shot by one of the villagers.
Besides Raghavendra, 12 more people have been injured in the clashes, including Sushil Chaudhary, Umesh Chaudhary, Sunil Jha, Circle Inspector Arun Kumar, Zonal Officer Sanjay Kumar, Inspector Lallan Singh in stone-pelting and lathi-charge.
BJP district president demands for investigation
The BJP district President Suresh Kumar Mishra has asked for an investigation in the case. In addition to this demand, Chairman of Pooja Samiti, Brajesh Chaudhary, Vice President Rakesh Chaudhary, Secretary Brijesh Mandal and Treasurer Sakir Hussain etc. suspect a conspiracy behind the action initiated by the police in the village.
The locals have alleged that the policemen who had come to stop the Durga Puja, allegedly took away Rs 55,000 received in donation and jewellery worth more than Rs 1 lakh. To oppose police action, the villagers and dozens of members of the Pooja Samiti associated with Durga Puja staged a demonstration by blocking the Sursund Meghpur path for hours. They demanded action against the accused policemen.
Police defends itself, says rumours of police assault were spread by mischief-mongers
As per a report published in Dainik Bhaskar, Sursund police station chief, Bhola Prasad Singh, while the police were patrolling the area on Saturday night, some rumours were being broadcasted on the loudspeaker in a temple in Meghpur, accusing the policemen of launching an assault against the villagers.
Dismissing the allegations levelled against the police, SP Pramod Kumar Yadav said that 2-3 miscreants incited the villagers by spreading rumours about the police. He added that the mischief-makers have been identified and an FIR has been filed against them. He also added that the allegations against police are completely false and there is peace and tranquillity in the region.