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Bihar Deputy CM in trouble over police firing

Friday June 10, 2011 03:47:09 PM, IANS

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Four people were killed and over a dozen injured in police firing on a group of protesters in Bihar's Araria district Friday evening, an official said. A probe has been ordered into the incident. The police opened fire at a group of protesters trying to burn down a factory in Farbisganj, about 350 km from Patna.   »

Patna: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's role should be probed in an incident of police firing in Araria district, in which five people were killed, a civil society group Friday said.

The group also demanded an immediate dismissal of the superintendent of police (SP) and sub-divisional officer (SDO) of Araria.

The police opened fire on a group of villagers who were protesting the blocking of a road to their village by an upcoming factory June 3 at Bhajanpur village in Araria district, about 350 km from here. Five people, including a pregnant woman and a six-month-old baby, were killed while nine others were injured.

"We demand to investigate role of Modi in the whole incident and immediate dismissal of Araria SP, SDO and other police officials present on the spot at the time when firing was ordered," said Shabnam Hashmi, an activist who heads the Delhi-based organisation 'Act Now for Harmony and Democracy' (ANHAD), that compiled a fact- finding team's report on the police firing.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, social activist Arshad Ajmal and Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad Khan, who contested parliamentary polls from Araria in 2009 were present when the ANHAD report named 'Renu's Maila Anchal in serach of Dagdar Babu', was released here Friday.

According to the ANHAD report, Modi visited Forbesganj town May 29 and had pressurised the administration to block the village road to facilitate setting up of a starch factory by Auro Sundaram International Company.

The fact finding team was informed by villagers that Modi, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, is close to the company managing director Saurabh Agrawal's father Ashok Agrawal, who is also a BJP legislator.

"Modi visited Forbesganj to put pressure on local administration to help Agrawal," Hashmi added.

The report said that the police opened fire on the protesters and chased them to their homes.

"Many eyewitnesses present on the scene told us that order to fire was given by the SP, Garima Mallik, and the SDO and Ashok Agrawal was present when the firing was ordered," Hashmi said, who is also one of the members of the fact-finding team.

While admitting that the angry villagers did demolish the portion blocking the road and set a vehicle of the company on fire, the report denied that the villagers tried to burn down the factory.

While demanding an immediate arrest of Agrawal, Hashmi said, "The government should provide a compensation of Rs.10 lakh to victims' families and Rs.1 lakh to injured and government jobs to family members of those killed."

Hashmi and Ajmal demanded an apology from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

"We will submit this report to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other organisations soon," Hashmi added.

After the Opposition's scathing attack, Nitish Kumar recommended a judicial inquiry into the incident four days ago.





 


 

 

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