Bihar director general of police Abhayanand and a deputy inspector general (DIG) of police under him have confronted each other in, what officials said, was a spat so ugly it had no precedence in the state history.
Late on Sunday, DIG Alok Kumar, a dalit IPS officer currently under suspension in a case of alleged extortion, had stated that he had lodged a case at an SC/ST police station in Chapra (north Bihar) against four persons, including the DGP.
The case, he said, had been instituted against the four under the provisions of the Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for alleged "atrocities" he had been subjected to by them.
Inspector general of police (IG) (operation) Amit Kumar, IG, (economic offences unit) Praveen Vashist and Tunaji Pandey, representative of a liquor company, were the other persons named in Alok's FIR.
But Monday morning the Bihar police administration 'revealed' Alok's FIR against the DGP and two other senior police officers had been "rejected" on "technical grounds".
Top police officials said Alok's FIR had been scrapped on the ground that he had "forced" the SHO of the Chapra SC/ST police station to accept it and was liable for action.
As such, the officials said, an FIR had been instituted against Alok at the Bhagwan Bazaar police station in Chapra town, located on the same premises as the SC/ST police station.
"The charge against Alok is he resorted to arm-twisting to get his FIR accepted", said an officer monitoring the development.
Alok, on the other hand, claimed he was in possession of a duly signed receipt of the FIR he had lodged against the DGP and three others, which he had photographed with his mobile camera.
"I have photographic evidence of the entries made on the FIR paper, including the FIR number issued by the concerned ASI Chandra Mauli Prasad, as the SHO Vinod Ram was not present at the police station at that time", Alok said. Since then, Ram has been placed under suspension for being out of the police station without information.
In the FIR lodged at the Bhagwan Bazaar PS against Alok "at 8.10pm" on Sunday, ASI Prasad has written he accepted Alok's complaint after getting a call from the SHO.
"The SHO told me that he would sign it on his return to the police station on Monday," the ASI's FIR read.
According to the ASI's FIR, Alok Kumar came to the SC/ST police station with four others and got the proforma of FIR filled by him under duress, got its signed by the ASI and left.
Chapra SP Sujeet Kumar confirmed Monday an FIR had been lodged against Alok, under section 342, 353 and 34 IPC. "Alok Kumar's complaint did not have SHO signature and was forcibly submitted. So, it cannot be treated as an FIR", the SP said.
Alok, however, refuted Sujeet's claim. "I lodged my FIR at 6.45pm and went to the SP's residence thereafter with the request he get the matter investigated by a gazette officer.
"I was there for close to half-an-hour, which can be verified through my mobile location," he added. The Chapra SP also confirmed Alok Kumar had called on him between 7.30pm - 8.00pm. Later, Alok said, he also went to Saran divisional commissioner Santosh Mall's residence.
"If there was anything wrong with the way I lodged my FIR, the same could have been communicated to me right then. But I came to know of the rejection of my FIR and lodging of another FIR today (Monday) morning through the media," he said, adding that he was accompanied by his lawyer Vivek Prasad during his visit to the police station.
Alok wondered if he could not even lodge an FIR, how could he expect to get justice from the system. "If I forced the ASI to lodge the FIR, what were Bhagwan Bazaar police officials doing? They could have easily stopped me. Whatever is being now is an afterthought," he added.
The Chapra SP, on the other hand, said he had received the copy of Alok Kumar's 'complaint' (not to be regarded as an FIR), which would be investigated by an ASP, Ravindra Kumar.
"His complaint is related to a nine-month-old case and the charges are against one officer only. Therefore, before registering the FIR, it is important to get the matter investigated," he added.
Alok, during his tenure as DIG last year, was accused of "extorting" a large sum of money from Pandey, who went on to lodge a complaint against the dalit IPS officer in this regard. He was subsequently placed under suspension.