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Munger Unrest: Cops on Patrol After Angry Mob Torches Police Vans

The Quint
·5-min read

A day after Bihar voted in the first phase of elections on Thursday, 29 October, an angry mob at Purabsarai Thana in Munger ransacked several vehicles and set a police vehicle on fire.

The Election Commission of India (EC) has ordered the immediate removal of SP and DM of Munger. An inquiry has also been ordered into the incident by Asangba Chuba Ao, Divisional Commissioner, Magadh, that has to be completed within the next seven days, reported news agency ANI.

New DM and SP will be posted in Munger today.

Meanwhile, DiG Manu Maharaj, along with the police force, has started patrolling the streets of Munger to take stock of the situation and bring it under control.

STARTLING VISUALS

Nearly 100 people took to the streets and protested against the police administration over the death of Anurag Poddar – who was shot by the police during the Durga idol immersion on Monday, 26 October. The angry protesters sought action by registering a murder case against the accused policemen, and seeking suspension of Munger Superintendent of Police Lipi Singh.

Munger SP vehicle attacked
Munger SP vehicle attacked

Munger Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, 27 October, demanded a judicial enquiry into the clashes that rocked the city of Munger on Monday, 26 October.

Shops in the city have been shut since Tuesday.

Munger Chamber of Commerce demands judicial probe
Munger Chamber of Commerce demands judicial probe
Munger city under lockdown
Munger city under lockdown
Bata chowk, Munger
Bata chowk, Munger

WHAT HAPPENED?

Anurag Poddar, 21, was killed after police allegedly opened fire amid a clash over a delay in Durga Puja immersion in Bihar’s Munger on Monday, 26 October. Around 30 people were also injured, according to The Indian Express.

The Indian Express reported that, traditionally, the Badi Durga idol is immersed first in Munger. However, the police was keen on immersing over 25 idols before midnight. Thus, several organisers objected and a clash broke out with stones allegedly being pelted at the police posse.

Around 20 police personnel were injured, according to the report. The police also reportedly found three country-made pistols with both live and empty cartridges.

Also Read: Not Jobs or Health, Bihar Leaders Focus on Jinnah, JNU & Kashmir

WHAT DOES THE POLICE CLAIM?

The police has claimed that they were compelled to fire in the air, in a bid to disperse the mob. The mob, on its part, retaliated with counter-firing, alleged the police, according to The Indian Express.

EYEWITNESS’ ACCOUNT

A shopkeeper who was near the spot, who refused to be named, told The Quint that nothing had happened till around 11 pm.

“The idols were being taken for visarjan. Suddenly, we heard several gunshots. At least 4-5. We were inside our house and we went up to the terrace to see what was happening,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

"“We saw policemen were running and beating the people. It was total chaos. It was happening just below my house... We were very sacred... I saw a lot of people getting injured in lathi-charge... Policemen were running on the road like wild wolves…”   " - Shopkeeper

Also Read: Decoding Nirmala Sitharaman’s Bihar Election Announcement

WHAT DOES THE DECEASED’S KIN SAY?

Anurag’s uncle Shankar Poddar spoke to The Quint about his nephew’s demise.

He said:

"“We don’t know how it happened. The incident happened just less than 500 mts away from the house. So, that’s how we got to know about it. It happened around 11-11:30 pm. His parents had just come 15 minutes ago from the murti darshan. Suddenly, everybody started running here and there. Someone came and told us that Anurag has been shot.”   "

“We are in a state of shock,” Anurag’s uncle said.

POLITICIANS REACT

LJP leader Chirag Paswan hit out at Nitish Kumar’s government in Bihar, alleging that the shooting shows “Nitish's Taliban rule”. He further sought the suspension of the Superintendent of Police.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, on his part, asked if BJP-JDU can kill while Durga’s idol immersion is underway.

Kanhaiya Kumar, too, shared a video of the clashes between the public and police in Munger and demanded that the police personnel responsible for the incident should be probed at once.

Meanwhile BJP’s Tajinder Singh Bagga demanded action from Nitish Kumar, Sushil Modi and RS Prasad against the police personnel.

Also Read: Bihar Elections: LJP Story Isn’t Just About BJP, It’s About RSS

According to The Indian Express, police presence has been increased in the town and near all polling booths.

On Wednesday, Munger witnessed the lowest voter turnout.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

Also Read: Bihar Set to Vote in Phase 1 on 28 October: All You Need to Know

. Read more on India by The Quint.Sunday View: The Best Weekend Opinion Reads, Curated Just For YouMunger Unrest: Cops on Patrol After Angry Mob Torches Police Vans . Read more on India by The Quint.