Months after the Bihar police resorted to brutality on a Durga idol Visarjan procession, all the suspended officers have been reinstated back in service, reported Dainik Bhaskar. During the infamous Munger incident on October 26 last year, several people were injured and a young man by the name of Anurag Poddar was mercilessly killed when police opened fire on devotees.
As per reports, the Election Commission had earlier ordered the removal of Lipi Singh as the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Munger. However, she has now been appointed as the Saharsa SP. Similarly, the then-District Magistrate Rajesh Meena has been appointed as the Registrar in the Cooperative Department. At the same time, police chief (Qasim Bazar station) Shailesh Kumar has been transferred to Naugachia police station.
The Bihar government had earlier ordered a large scale transfer of IAS and IPS officers. Twelve districts magistrates (DM) along with 13 superintendents of police (SP) have been changed in a late-night notification. At the same time, the then Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Manu Maharaj has ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT). The incumbent DIG Shafiul Haq informed that the viral video of police brutality is being investigated and that appropriate action will be taken against the accused.
What does the CISF report say?
Although former Munger SP Lipi Singh had initially denied any instance of firing, the CISF report made it clear in their internal report that the police and the CISF had open fired at the devotees. As per the report, a scuffle broke out between the police and the devotees during the Durga Visarjan procession, which later culminated into stone-pelting. The CISF report claimed that the police fired shots at the devotees to control the crowd, following which the 20 CISF personnel also fired 13 rounds.
Inquiry report of Magadh Commissioner, no compensation for victim’s family
The Election Commission had sent Magadh range Commissioner, Asangma Chua Awo, to Munger to investigate the case and submit a report on the findings in 7 days. Asangma had visited Munger and interrogated the locals and the security personnel. Dainik Bhaskar reported that the inquiry report has been submitted to the Election Commission but has not been made public as of yet. Citing sources, the Hindi daily stated that the Magadh range Commissioner has accused Munger SP Lipi Singh and DM Rajesh Meena of reaching the crime spot late by at least 1 hour.
Amarnath Poddar, the father of deceased Anurag, informed that they are yet to receive any compensation from the Bihar government. This is despite the fact that he had identified one accused, named Sushil Kumar, who is the OP-in-charge of Vasudevpur. According to him, instead of naming Kumar in the First Information Report, the police lodged a case against unidentified people. Meanwhile, the villagers and the relatives of the victim have accused the Bihar police of shielding the accused and brushing the case under the carpet.
Death of Anurag Poddar
Lipi Singh had earned the title ‘General Dyer’ after the Munger firing. People associated with the Durga Puja Committee claimed that Singh oversaw the beatings meted out to the devotees involved in immersion. The idol of Durga Mata was lying deserted on the road that night.
A young man named Anurag Poddar was killed in the firing that night after police crackdown against the devotees. An FIR was filed in this case against the policemen based on the statement given by Anurag Poddar’s father. In his complaint, Anurag’s father blamed the police firing as the reason for his son’s death.
Ahead of the assembly state elections in the state, Bihar was shaken with a horrifying episode of violence when the police personnel mercilessly attacked Durga Procession devotees in the Munger district. The devotees were charged with batons and shots were fired at them, claiming the life of one 18-year-old Hindu boy.