With the head split open, blood-soaked body of Anurag Poddar, 18, the only son of local BJP leader Amarnath Poddar was lying at the Deendayal Chowk in Munger, 200 kms east of Patna, on Monday night. 6 others sustained injuries in the firing, though the police on Tuesday claimed the bullets were not theirs, but anti-social elements opened fire.
According to the reports, during the Durga idols immersion procession in Munger on the banks of Ganga on Monday, organisers of the different puja committees wanted to maintain the centuries-old tradition and arrange for immersion early on Tuesday morning.
They told the district administration the tradition would be followed and processions would start in the evening with the presiding deity of Durga Maharani town of Shadipur will take the lead. However, the police asked committee members to proceed first with the idol of Shankarpur, which was opposed by youths.
Local visitor from Puraniganj Deepak Mishra over phone said, “According to the tradition the immerssion of presiding deity takes first as 32 kahars (professional carriers) carry the idol on their shoulders to the Ganga.”
He claimed the police compelled the locals to break the tradition and get all idols immersed by 5pm on Monday. They told the organisers since the polling will take place on Wednesday, immersion must take place by Monday sunset. This infuriated the organisers who started pelting stones at the police at Deendayal Chowk.
As per the organisers, police resorted to lathi-charge and started firing indiscriminately, killing two and hurting six. In the lathi-charge allegedly by CRPF men, dozens sustained head injuries.
However, on Tuesday morning, Munger SP Lipi Singh refuted the charges of firing by police, claiming, “Some-anti-social elements resorted to firing.”
She alleged an agitated mob attacked the cops and fired on the force She claimed there were repeated stone peltings on the cops but they restrained. 22 cops, including officers-in-charge of Sangrampur, Kotwali, Kasimbazar and Vasudevpur were injured.
She alleged, “The reports that police fired on the processionists were rumours. Situation is peaceful and some miscreants have been arrested.”
Locals claimed police detained over 100 people on Monday night and a mob opened fire.
SP’s father RCP Singh is national secretary general of the JD(U). He was earlier in the IAS and principal secretary to Nitish Kumar before entering politics.
Dy CM Sushil Kumar Modi demanded EC’s intervention. Guilty should be taken to task, Modi said.
LJP President Chirag Paswan demanded prosecution of the SP under Section 302 IPC and her immediate arrest.
RJD CM candidate Tejashwi Yadav also criticised the state government for the incident.