Patna: As the July 8 police firing in Rohtas claiming two lives triggered widespread protest, the Bihar government on Friday said it was done in self defence.
Facing Opposition BJP protest for the past three days in both Houses of Bihar Legislature, the government today came out with a statement over the incident in Legislative Council.
BJP members staged a walkout as their demand for discussion on the issue was not met. Minister in-Charge of Home Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said the incident was a fallout of rumours that created tension.
“The police personnel first fired at the violent crowd near Sundarganj bridge in Rohtas to save themselves after it was the only option left to them. It helped them escape from the mob, which torched a police jeep and chased them to Rohtas police station,” said the Minister.
Chaudhary said the angry crowd attacked the police station and looted two Self Loading Rifles (SLR) and 31 cartridges. It destroyed six vehicles and an anti-landmine vehicle belonging to government officials.
Angry people tried to torch the police station and loot the ‘maalkhana’ (store) located there. Altogether 17 government officials including 13 police personnel were injured in the incident, he said.
“The police fired again, this time inside the police station campus and repelled the mob. Two persons – Pradeep Paswan (25) and Upendra Kushwaha (28) were killed while seven others suffered bulled injuries,” Chaudhary added.
Chaudhary also added that three FIRs have been registered against a few named and several unidentified persons, while one looted SLR has been recovered.
He said the state government immediately sent Patna Divisional Commissioner, Zonal Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General to bring the situation under control.
“Seeing the sensitivity and seriousness of the incident, all police officials posted at Rohtas police station have been send to police lines at Dehri-on-Sone and new ones have been posted there. Two companies of Rapid Action Force have been positioned in the district,” Chaudhary said.
BJP members resented government’s statement without a discussion by members, Council Chairman Awdesh Narayan Singh permitted it citing rules.
Dissatisfied BJP members then staged a walkout.
No business could be carried out in the Upper House of the legislature for the past three days due to BJP’s protest. The Minister said the firing was the fallout of an incident in which a youth Ajay Sah of Akbarpur sent a message in mobile phone which hurt the feelings of another community.
Sah was arrested on Monday but rumours spread that he was severely beaten up inside the police station by the police and a group of a particular community.
“This has turned out to be false. Medical test of Sah revealed that he had just an ordinary mark of injury on the back of his left thigh,” added Chaudhary.
The Minister said the government was awaiting joint probe report of the DM and SP of the district.
NDA partners BJP and LJP had observed a bandh in Rohtas yesterday to protest against the firing.
The BJP has been demanding judicial probe into the incident and Rs 10 lakh compensation and jobs for family members of the two deceased.