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‘State failed to protect his life’: Patna High Court instructs Bihar gov to compensate Anurag Poddar’s family

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, assisted by Advocate Manas Prasad had represented Anurag Poddar's father in the High Court.

The horrific visuals from a Durga idol immersion procession in Munger, Bihar had shaken the entire nation last October due to police brutality. The devotees were charged with batons and shots were fired at them, claiming the life of one 18-year-old Hindu boy Anurag Poddar. 

While the investigation into the firing incident is still pending, the Patna High Court on Wednesday said that the state failed to protect the life of the citizen and ordered the state to grant Rs. 10 lakh as compensation to the father of Anurag Poddar within a month.

The state failed to protect Anurag Poddar’s life: Bihar HC

A single bench of Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad observed that it is not imperative to declare who was responsible for the firing to grant compensation to the family of the deceased in the unfortunate incident. The state had failed in its duty to protect the life of the citizen and should compensate for the same, remarked Justice Rajeev Ranjan.

The order further stated, “Whether son of the petitioner died as a result of firing by police or by any miscreants from the mob would not be relevant for the simple reason that in any case, the state had failed to protect the life of the son of the petitioner who was a spectator in the procession of Maa Durga Idol Immersion.”

The petitioner has also been given the option to claim further compensation under private law remedy against the wrongdoer, reported Live Law.

During the hearing, the High Court expressed displeasure over the government’s attitude and the police investigating the matter. Observing that no concrete results have emerged from the investigation from October last year to February, the court has ordered that the CID investigation will now take place under the monitoring of the High Court. The court has also ordered a transfer of all police officers associated with the case. 

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, assisted by Advocate Manas Prasad had represented Anurag Poddar’s father in the High Court.

Police open fire at Durga Visarjan procession in Munger:

On October 26, 2020, when the campaign for Bihar assembly elections was going on, the famous Shadipur Badi Durga procession for Visarjan was attacked and allegedly fired upon by police officials. Though the police had denied firing and had claimed that the shots were fired by some members of the crowd, those claims were later dismissed by CISF.

The police had beaten up the devotees who were taking the idol for immersion. Video footage of police brutally lathi-charging devotees who were trying to shield the huge idol and pandal had created a furor on social media. In the violence that ensued, shots were also fired and the 18-year-old Anurag had lost his life. Several other persons were injured in the police brutality.

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