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`Loopholes in police claims on Forbesganj firing`

The National Commission for Minorities has raised questions on the claims of Bihar Police regarding the June 3 firing incident in Forbesganj in the state in which four persons of a minority community were killed.



New Delhi: The National Commission for
Minorities has raised questions on the claims of Bihar Police
regarding the June 3 firing incident in Forbesganj in the
state in which four persons of a minority community were
killed.

A two-member team of the Commission, led by Wajahat
Habibullah, had visited the area on June 21 and 22 and found
many loopholes in the state police`s claims about the
incident.

Four persons including a woman and a nine-month-old child
were killed when police opened fire during a clash between
them and locals opposing the construction of a starch factory
and an approach road at Bhajanpur in the state`s Araria
district on June 3.

While the police claimed that they opened fire in
retaliation to the gunshots fired by the protesters, the
Committee`s report said that there is no evidence of firing by
the villagers or that they carried any arms or guns.

"Although the order to fire was alleged by the SP to have
been given on the basis that shots were heard, but their
source not seen, it was swiftly assumed that the mob opened
fire and the police had to be ordered to retaliate.

No evidence, however, was produced or found of arms or guns that
the crowd may have carried," the report said.

It added that thought the CD provided by the police
showed glass panes of government vehicles being smashed with
wooden rods, the only videos of the crowd show groups of women
confronting the police, "brandishing, but not using (weapons)
to strike at policemen".

"There is no video of a large, supposedly uncontrollable,
mob... comprising of as many as 3,000 persons," as claimed by
the police, the NCM report said.

"The post-mortem reports clearly show that the young men
were shot in the chest and the lady in the head which has also
been substantiated by the photographs received," it said.

In its recommendations, the Commission has asked for
review of the compensation provided to the land owners for
acquiring their land in 1988 and make an enhanced payment to
them noting that "the revised rates could be a sound basis for
compromise."

In another significant recommendation, the Commission has
suggested that the relief should be disbursed to the deceased
in line with the relief suggested under the Prevention of
Communal Violence Bill, 2011, whether or not the bill has by
then become an Act.

It has also urged the state government to consider urgent
steps for the rehabilitation of the families of those affected
by engaging the survivors and those injured in occupations
that will give them a sustainable livelihood.

The Bihar government had ordered a judicial inquiry into
the firing incident amid criticism by the Opposition which
claimed that the agitation by the locals was crushed to
benefit a BJP leader whose kin had acquired land in the area.

A Homeguard jawan, whose image was telecast showing him
assaulting an injured youth who subsequently died during the
agitation and had led to widespread condemnation, was later
suspended and charged with a case of murder.

PTI

From Zee News

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