Villagers clash over unpaid compensation for goat killed in Bihar road accident | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Villagers clash over unpaid compensation for goat killed in Bihar road accident

Communal tension gripped two villages in Bihar’s Katihar district, after owner of a goat killed in a road mishap assaulted a biker from the other village, who failed to pay the agreed compensation for the animal.

india Updated: May 11, 2017 20:48 IST
Aditya Nath Jha
Officials camp at Barhi Bhains Diara village in Bihar’s Katihar district, after it was gripped by communal tension.
Officials camp at Barhi Bhains Diara village in Bihar’s Katihar district, after it was gripped by communal tension. (HT photo)

An angry exchange of words that had ensued over the killing of a goat in a bike accident, four months ago, turned violent on Wednesday evening when the goat owner assaulted the biker for failing to pay up the compensation amount of Rs 500, as decided soon after the incident.

But as soon as the news of the assault on Mohammad Irfan spread, villagers of Fakir Tola under Barari police station of Katihar district in north eastern Bihar gathered at a place and attacked Anil Mehta, the goat owner and his family, at the neighbouring village of Barhi Bhains Diara.

The mob allegedly damaged Mehta’s house and assaulted some of the inmates. The incident acquired communal overtones as Mehta’s co-villagers, who had gone for a fest at the time, rushed to Fakir Tola Thursday morning for a retaliatory attack, leading to brick-batting between the two sides.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, Katihar sub-divisional officer (SDO) Udita Singh rushed to the village with heavy reinforcements to diffuse the situation and quell the tension.

“Police have registered an FIR against 200 persons, including 46 named persons, in connection with the incident(s)”, said Katihar superintendent of police S M Jain. He claimed normalcy was returning to the area.

Udita Singh, who was camping at the site, said: “Police have been asked to carry out flag marches in both the villages and we are convening a peace committee meeting with members of both the communities, to diffuse the tension.”

Recalling the origin of the dispute, locals said a goat belonging to Anil Mehta was grazing by the roadside when Irfan, riding a motorbike, accidentally hit it, killing it on the spot.

It was decided at the time that Irfan would pay Anil Mehta Rs 500 as compensation for the goat, within four months, the last date being May 8.

As soon as the deadline expired on Monday, Anil demanded his money from Irfan and on being refused, got into an altercation with him on Wednesday evening, which soon slipped out of control and escalated into a standoff between the two communities.