Violence continues for second day in Bihar's Madhubani



Patna: Violent protests continued in Bihar's district headquarters town of Madhubani, 170 km from here, for the second consecutive day on Saturday, with four people injured in police firing.

The protest resumed in the town early Saturday with violent mobs setting afire the three block office building, three police stations and several vehicles parked there. They also ransacked a railway station and attacked government properties at several places.

"Protesters pelted stones at police and torched the Kaluahi, Basapatti and Kanjhauli police stations and the block office buildings early Saturday. They also set on fire the vehicles parked there. Later, they ransacked the Jainagar railway station," a police official said.

A mob of protestors also looted foodgrains from the godown of the state food corporation in Kanjhauli block.

Another group of protesters blocked roads and went on rampage in the town. "The protesters went on rampage in five blocks in the district," the police official said.

With tension gripping Madhubani town, shops, commercial establishments and educational institutions remained shut Saturday. All the injured have been admitted to hospital in the neighbouring Darbhanga district. Three people, whose condition was said to be critical were shifted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital.

On Friday, two youths were killed after being hit by bullets and over a dozen people were injured after police opened fire at an irate mob in the town.

The town has been simmering ever since a headless body was found 11 days ago. The family members of a missing youth, Prashant Kumar, claimed that the body was his and demanded that it be handed over to them.

Hundreds of people joined them. But when police refused to give in to their demand, the mob turned violent and indulged in the violent protests of Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, the authorities finally relented and handed over the body to Prashant Kumar's family.

Madhubani District Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Singh confirmed this to a news agency over telephone.

He also added that the situation in the town was under control. "There is tension but the situation is under control as the administration has been trying to pacify protestors. We have also appealed to people to maintain peace," Singh said.

The opposition in Bihar, meanwhile, has seized upon the tension in Madhubani to criticise the Nitish kumar government. "Till Friday, the administration refused to hand over the body to Prashant's family. But now, after violent protests and a rampage across the district, they have finally relented," opposition leader Abdul Bari Siddiqqui said.

Left parties in the state, particularly including the CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML have announced a state-wide strike in Bihar on October 15 against the incident in Madhubani and those in other places in the last few weeks. The main opposition including the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Lok Janshakti Party and the Congress are likely to extend support to the strike.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and transferred the district magistrate and Superintendent of Police with immediate effect.

IANS