Police on Monday arrested 31 persons for their alleged involvement in arson and violence following the custodial death of a mason at Barhara village of Bihar’s Bhojpur district, 55km west of Patna.
An angry mob had on Sunday partially burnt down Barhara police station, torched vehicles parked on its premises and looted firearms after Ram Sajjan Tatwa, a mason, who was picked by cops following his daughter’s complaint, died in police detention. Tatwa’s daughter had complained to the police that her father used to return home drunk and beat up her mother and her.
Bhojpur superintendent of police (SP) Kshatranil Singh said all the arrested persons were named as accused in the FIR lodged on the basis of the statement by Barhara station house officer S Kumar, who had since been suspended.
The arrested persons were mostly from Barhara as well as neighbouring Semariya and Padadiya villages, Singh said, adding that the FIR had been registered against 118 named and 500 unnamed persons.
Singh said the executive engineer of the building construction department had been asked to assess the damage caused to the police station building. Many valuable papers, including station diaries, carbon copy of FIRs and other documents had been destroyed in the arson, he added.
The SP said kerosene used in arson was seized a few days back from Nathmalpur village. One of the arrested persons, Sanjay Paswan, had admitted to having used kerosene stored in two drums at the police station to set the building on fire, the SP added.