Munger’s controversial Superintendent of Police Lipi Singh, who happens to be the daughter of the JD(U) national secretary, and District Magistrate Rajesh Meena have been removed on the orders of the Election Commission over violence during the Durga immersion.
The action came even as a group of protesters went on the rampage in the town on Thursday, setting some police stations and outposts on fire and ransacking the SP and the SDO’s offices.
The protesters also burnt tyres near the main chowk and demanded action against the SP and the police personnel responsible for allegedly opening fire during the immersion procession. The men in khaki had no option but to flee the premises.
The poll panel has also ordered an inquiry into the firing and stone-pelting during the immersion in which one person had died and several others were injured. The probe has to be completed within a week. The outgoing SP had denied any police firing.
Hours later, the Bihar government, on the instructions of the Election Commission, named 2010-batch IAS officer Rachna Patil as the new District Magistrate and 2009-batch IPS officer Manavjit Singh Dhillon as the new SP.
The RJD-helmed Grand Alliance has strongly criticised Monday’s firing, likening the action of the district police to that of General Dyer in Jallianwala Bagh.
Coming on the heels of the first phase of polling, the incident had its impact on voting too; two of the three Assembly seats – Munger and Jamalpur -- witnessed lower voter turnout, as against that in the 2015 polls.
Lipi Singh, the Munger SP, is considered close to the chief minister. According to sources, she is treated like a member in the chief minister’s household. She and her husband, an IAS officer, were in attendance during the annual puja for Nishant, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s son. They were acting like his guardian during the proceedings, said sources.