Nitish orders probe into police firing

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the police firing incident at Bagaha in West Champaran district in which seven people were killed.

While six, belonging to Tharu tribe, died on Monday when the police opened fire to disperse an unruly mob, the seventh person succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

The inquiry will be conducted jointly by ADG (Headquarters) SK Bhardwaj and IG (Prisons) Anand Kishore. Bagaha SP Sunil Kumar said the police had to resort to firing after a mob, protesting over the alleged kidnapping of a youth, started pelting stones at the police.However, former Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Upendra Kushwaha, who visited the incident site on Tuesday, trashed the police theory and said it was a cold-blooded murder by the men in uniform. “All those who have died had received gunshots above the waist. If at all, the police had to resort to firing, they should have fired in air to disperse the mob,” he said.

The BJP, too, slammed Nitish regime for unleashing police terror on poor tribals. “On June 16, when Nitish parted ways, we had predicted the return of jungle raj and anarchy,” said Bihar BJP chief Mangal Pandey.

The Congress, which has, of late, extended support to Nitish, was equally vocal in assailing the police firing. “Since Nitish now himself is in charge of the Home Department, he should introspect what went wrong and should punish the DSP on whose orders the police opened fire,” said Bihar Congress chief spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal, meanwhile, has demanded an investigation by a sitting judge of the High Court. In the meantime, the Bihar Government suspended Vinay Kumar, officer in charge of Naurangia police station under whose jurisdiction the firing took place.

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