At least 14 people have been arrested in connection with Sunday's violence in a Bihar village in which three persons were charred to death after a mob torched at least 10 houses following the recovery of an abducted man's body.
Muzaffarpur's senior superintendent of police RK Mishra told PTI the arrests were made in connection with the incident at Bahilwada Bhuwal village in Muzaffarpur district.
Security has been tightened in the area with additional deployment of five companies (500 personnel) of Bihar Military Police (BMP), additional director general of police (headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey, who is camping at Muzaffarpur since Sunday night, told PTI.
The ADG and SSP described the current situation as peaceful in the village which is 105 km north of state capital Patna.
SSP Mishra said three-tier security arrangements have been made in the village, on its periphery and in the district headquarters to quell any violence.
Majhi has ordered a probe by principal secretary (home) Sudhir Kumar and ADG (HQ) Pandey into the incident. He has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for the kin of dead and Rs. 50,000 to those injured and their treatment at government expense.
Manjhi, who had gone to Mumbai and was scheduled to go to New Delhi from there, has curtailed his programme and will reach Patna from Mumbai in the afternoon, sources in chief minister's office told PTI.
The chief minister has also announced rebuilding of houses torched in the arson and compensation for the damage to properties, an official release said.
A large mob had gathered in the village near the house of one Wasi Ahmed on Sunday where the body of 19-year-old Bhartendu Kumar, son of Kamal Sahni, was recovered. The mob torched at least 10 houses in retaliation, including that of Ahmed whose son Vikki is said to be an accused in the abduction and murder of Kumar.
Atul Prasad, a Bihar state administrator, said the minority community was blamed for the killing of the boy who was friendly with a Muslim girl from the village.
Family members of Bhartendu had lodged an FIR with Saraiya police station alleging that the boy had been kidnapped by relatives of the girl.
As soon as the news spread, a mob gathered near Vikki's residence and torched it along with other houses, SSP Mishra said. The situation took an ugly turn when a group, angry with the news about Bhartendu's death, attacked the house of the accused.
"Following retaliation, the attackers went on the rampage and set 10 houses belonging to another group on fire. Around 15 vehicles were also gutted," said a villager.
The bodies are yet to be identified as all three were charred beyond recognition.
District magistrate Anupam Kumar and SSP Mishra had rushed to the village with heavy reinforcements to bring the situation under control.
"We have to work hard to control the situation. We have talked with responsible persons from both the groups and requested them to maintain restraint," said SSP Mishra.
He said that suitable action would be initiated against the people responsible for the incident.
"No one will be spared if found guilty. We are verifying the facts and responsible persons would be identified after reviewing the video footage of the incident," he said, adding that some anti-social elements were trying to disrupt social harmony.
Speaking to HT, ADG (HQ) Pandey said the incident was prima facie triggered by a love affair.
(With agency inputs)
Video: Mob sets over 20 houses on fire