Angry over the Munger firing incident in Bihar, a mob of several hundred people set police vehicles on fire and vandalised property at the Purab Sarai police station here and at the SP office on Thursday afternoon.
The Purab Sarai police station was also set on fire.
The situation was tense in Munger on Thursday as all shops in the district remain closed. Keeping in view the tense situation, the Election Commission has removed Munger district magistrate Rajesh Meena and SP Lipi Singh.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer in Bihar, Sanjay Kumar Singh, confirmed the removal of these two officers. New officers will be deployed soon, he said.
On Thursday afternoon, a large number of local residents assembled at the SP office and shouted slogans against the Munger police. They alleged that the Munger police had opened fire on Durga devotees at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Chowk on Monday night that left one person dead and several others injured.
Following that incident, a video also went viral where policemen are seen baton-charging devotees who were seen taking shelter around the idols in a bid to save their lives.
Earlier, Munger Chamber of Commerce called for a ‘Bandh’ on Thursday and its representatives and president Krishna Kumar Agrawal were seen asking traders to shut their shops.
Additional paramilitary forces were also deployed to restore peace.
The Election Commission has asked Bihar police to conduct an inquiry with a team headed by an IG-rank officer and submit its report in the next one week. Bihar police has constituted a probe team headed by Magadh range IG.
Earlier in the day, Rajesh Meena, the DM of Munger said that the district administration had not given any direction to forcibly deal with devotees during immersion of Durga idols.
“Since the matter was very serious and lapses are found, we have suspended SHO of Muffassil police station and in charge of Vasudevpur. Preliminary investigation reveals that there is a conspiracy of anti-social elements and they will be nabbed soon,” he said.
National Commission of Children also took cognisance of this matter and asked the SP to submit a report within 48 hours on Wednesday.
The Munger incident has taken political colour over the alleged police brutality.
Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav of RJD and LJP’s Chirag Paswan have attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his failure to control the situation.
Both the leaders compared this incident with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Tejashwi wanted to know who gave orders to the police to fire at the devotees.
“Nitish Kumar, who is also holding home ministry is in the role of General Dyer. What was he doing when his police brutalised the devotees? Can he and (Deputy CM) Sushil Modi explain it?” Tejashwi said.
Chirag Paswan said: “Ma Durga will kill this ‘Mahisuri’ (demonic) government on November 10, the day of election result. It would not justify if we call this incident just shameful. In fact, police committed this brutality on the direction of this ‘Mahisasur’ government.”
Earlier, a violent clash had erupted between the police and people on Dussehra during the Durga idol immersion in which one person had died.
The relatives of the deceased on Thursday alleged that the man had died in police firing and demanded action against the police.
A police official said that a mob took to the streets on Thursday and started pelting stones at Vasudevpur Police Outpost and Purabsarai Outpost. Thereafter, the mob set the outposts ablaze.
An officer posted in Vasudevpur OP said that around 150-200 people suddenly came and started pelting stones at the OP and then set it ablaze. “We somehow managed to save our lives,” he said.
A mob also burnt vehicles in the police station. In addition, the Superintendent of Police Office and residence of the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) were vandalised.
Tension is prevailing in the area after the incident and additional police has been deployed in the city.
Earlier, on Dussehra on October 25, a clash took place between police and local people during the Durga idol immersion. A man, Anurag Kumar, was killed in the incident and many others received injuries. Thereafter, amid the Bihar Assembly elections, many political parties made an issue out of the incident and targeted the state government.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav demanded strict action in the case and a probe by a retired High Court judge. He compared this incident to Jallianwala Bagh. Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party also lashed out at the government over the incident.