'Dead' Bihar teen found in Delhi with girlfriend

Two teenaged lovers — the disappearance of one which triggered widespread riots in Madhubani in Bihar after a body was wrongly identified as his — were found in the national capital on Monday.

The Madhubani turmoil began when the parents of Prashant Jha, 17, claimed a headless body discovered by police as that of their son on Friday. Prashant, along with girlfriend Preeti Chaudhary, 16, was spotted at Mehrauli in south Delhi on Monday.

Police said they received a call at the police control room that a boy and a girl, who might have escaped from Bihar, were roaming in Mehrauli. A police team rushed to the spot and took them into custody.

Prashant and Preeti are Class X students of the Indian Public School at Stadium Road in Madhubani. They told police that they left Madhubani on September 7 and stayed in Ranchi in Jharkhand. They proceeded to Darjeeling and then took the Brahmaputra Mail and reached Delhi on Monday. “They were spotted at a tea shop at Mehrauli,” said a senior police officer.

Later, at Mehrauli police station, the boy was identified as the same student from Madhubani who was presumed “dead”.

The Madhubani police claimed both had eloped, but on October 2, a headless body was found which Prashant’s kin claimed was his. The police, which carried out post-mortem twice, claimed that it was of a 27-year-old man, and not Prashant’s.

Enraged over their refusal to hand over the body, an irate mob set the police station on fire. Later, the protesters torched nine vehicles. The police had to resort to firing to quell the mob. Three persons were killed while 15 others sustained grievous injuries.  Chief Minister Nitish Kumar not only transferred the Madhubani DM and SP, but also ordered a judicial probe into the incident.  Incidentally, Prashant was found on a day when the entire Opposition had called for a Bihar bandh to protest against the firing incident and “killing” of Prashant.

Throughout the day, the bandh supporters created mayhem across the state as they paralysed train movement and damaged several vehicles. Schools and colleges remained closed as a precautionary measure, while offices registered thin attendance.
Expressing satisfaction over locating Prashant and his girlfriend in New Delhi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said: “All is well that ends well.”

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