An angry mob burnt down a police station partially, torched vehicles and also reportedly looted firearms following a mason’s custodial death in Barhara village of Bhojpur district, 55 km west of Patna.
The mob turned belligerent after it came to know that Ram Sajjan Tatwa, a mason, who the cops had picked up, following his daughter’s complaint Saturday evening, had died in police detention.
As soon as the news spread, villagers, reportedly instigated by some local politicians, marched to the Barhara police station on Sunday morning and began pelting stones. One cop sustained head injury, as others scurried for cover.
The angry villagers ransacked the police station before setting it afire. They also reportedly looted three police rifles and torched vehicles parked on the police station station campus. The record room of the Barhara police station was gutted in the fire.
Bhojpur district magistrate (DM) Birendra Prasad Yadav, who was leading the mob control operation, told HT, “The situation is peaceful now and things are under control.” Both the DM and superintendent of police (SP) Kshatranil Singh had rushed to the spot.
Tatwa’s daughter Nitu Kumari, 16, had reportedly complained to the police that her father used to return home drunk and beat her mother and her. On Saturday, when her mother was not there, Tatwa came drunk and proposed to marry her, the police said.
Acting on her complaint, the police promptly picked up Tatwa, who was in an inebriated condition. The police claimed that Tatwa sustained grievous head injuries in trying to jump out of the police jeep while being taken to the police station. However, villagers claimed that Tatwa was critically injured after cops thrashed him at the police station. He was taken to the sadar hospital, where he died.
Hathkali Kuwar, the mother of the deceased, alleged that the cops thrashed her son and threw him from the rooftop of the two-storey police station.
Efforts to contact Bhojpur SP proved futile.