15 to discourage Bhojpur's wife



Armed forces deployed in Bihiya on Tuesday. Photo by Rajiv Nayan Agrawal

Patna / Ara: At least 15 people, including an RJD leader, were arrested and eight police officers suspended for dereliction of duty that caused a middle-aged woman to be undressed and paraded naked in the city of Bihiya in Bhojpur on Monday.

The police in Bhojpur said Tuesday that a FIR was filed against 50 named and 300 unknown persons in connection with the attack on the woman who followed the mysterious death of a 16-year-old boy, Bimlesh Sah. On the basis of the FIR, the police arrested 15 people, including RJD leader Kaushal Kishore Yadav, from the village of Jamuaw and neighboring areas.

A gang had attacked the house of the Dalit woman in Damodarpur after the body of Sah had been repaired from the nearby railway lines. Local residents claimed that the mafia did not just dismiss the woman, but also stripped her completely in public. The police, they claimed, did nothing to stop the crowd.

The residents further claimed that Kaushal Kishore led the group that sacked the woman and then burned in the red light district near the railway tracks where the body of youth was found. Another group of residents, however, claimed that the police misbehaved with the mother of the deceased boy when she went to the police station to file a complaint.

Additional Director General of Police (head office) S.K. Singhal said Tuesday in Patna that the situation in Bhojpur was under control. Additional forces have been deployed in the village to ward off any undesirable incident. So far, 15 people have been arrested, he said, adding that disciplinary action had been taken against eight erring agents.

Those placed under suspension are Bihiya SHO Kuer Gupta, GRP (ARA), SHO Ashok Kumar, sub-inspector of police Tapeshwar Singh, a havildar and five other agents. The SP said the local police officers were alert but no action was taken to prevent the incident.

The district magistrate Sanjeev Kumar of Bhojpur said that Sah was deadly strangled because a bone around his neck was found broken in the postmortem. Asked about the connection of Sah to the red light district, Sanjeev said it was a question of research. Three women, including the person who was undressed and abused, lived in the house that was set on fire by the crowd.

Sanjeev and Superintendent of police Awakash Kumar visited the area with red light and took stock of the situation there. The two officials also watched video footage of the incident. They later met the woman who had been attacked.

SP Awakash said that a separate FIR was housed in connection with the mysterious death of Sah.

Approaching Monday's incident, the SP said the Damodarpur local residents and Sah family members went to the rampage-damaging railroad, shops, and other business establishments shortly after discovering the youths' body on the railroad tracks.

The red light area is next to platform number 1 at the Bihiya train station. Sah's younger sister Shobha Kumari also died due to a shock after hearing the news of her brother's death.

Monday's incident was traced back to a similar incident on Patna's Exhibition Road in July 2009, when a young girl was completely publicly stripped. When the state government was under attack by the opposition, no fewer than 14 police officers, including the IG, DIG, SSP and SP city, were removed from their respective posts within 24 hours.

A PTI report said that the National Commission for Women had instructed the Director General of the Bihar police to inform about the detailed action taken in the case, an official said.


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