Bihar Police Bill: Amid Opposition protests, officials ally fears on new law

JEHANABAD (Bihar): A female constable died after being run over by a vehicle here while trying to quell a mob which in protest against a custodial death indulged in heavy stone-pelting and fired gunshots in the air, leaving many police personnel injured.

The busy Jehanabad-Arwal highway remained jammed for hours on account of the trouble that erupted in Parasbigha police station area of the district, said Sub Divisional Police Officer, Jehanabad, Ashok Kumar Pandey.

“The mob was furious over the death of one Govind Manjhi who was arrested some time back for engaging in liquor trade. He had been remanded to judicial custody and lodged at a jail in the adjoining Aurangabad district”, he said.

Notably, sale and consumption of liquor is completely banned in Bihar where the Nitish Kumar government had brought in a stringent prohibition law six years ago.

“Manjhi died at the jail on Friday. As the news reached here, residents of his village squatted on the highway blaming the death on physical torture. When a police party tried to assuage them, they took recourse to violence”, said Pandey.

The SDPO said the constable, Kanti Devi, “was hit by a vehicle while she was engaged in the operation and she succumbed to injuries while being rushed to a hospital”.

“The agitators indulged in heavy stone-pelting and fired a few shots from unlicensed firearms. Several police personnel have received grievous injuries. We have arrested five people in this connection. A heavy deployment of police is in place to keep the situation under control,” said Pandey.