Three persons, including two Dalit workers of the ruling Janata Dal (United), were allegedly tied to horses and dragged for quite a distance before being tied to a pole and hit with a pistol butt and sticks, over a political dispute.
The gruesome incident took place near Khairpur village under Kharik police station in Naugacchia police district in south eastern Bihar, late afternoon on Saturday.
The victims – identified as Kharik block JD (U) dalit cell chief Bablu Das, his dalit associate Niraj Das and party worker Kapildev Mandal, were rushed to the Kharik primary health centre in a fairly serious condition.
“Bablu Das has a fracture in his arm while Mandal has a badly swollen face from the beating,” said JD (U) local (Gopalpur) MLA Narendra Kumar Neeraj alias Gopal Mandal, who informed the police about the incident.
Official sources said the main assailant had been identified as Ajay Yadav, a man known for his strong arm ways and stated to be a close relation of a local mukhia, Vimla Devi.
Sources said late Saturday, Yadav fired at the three men in the Naugacchia riverene area, known for high incidence of criminal activity, as they headed for their native Khairpur on a motorcycle.
When they fell down from the motorbike, Yadav and his associates allegedly tied Bablu and Niraj behind a horse with a rope and Mandal to another horse. Then, the three were allegedly dragged to Vimla Devi’s residence.
There, they were tied to a pole and hit repeatedly with a pistol butt, said sources privy to the incident.
Reached for his comment Sunday afternoon, Naugacchia SP Shekhar Kumar confirmed the incident. “The main accused, Ajay Yadav, has already been arrested and sent to jail,” he said.
The SP described the incident as a “clash” and said it was the outcome of a political dispute between the mukhia, Vimla Devi, and a local municipal ward member with whom the three injured persons were associated.
“While the injured persons had instituted an SC-ST act case against Yadav and his associates, the other side had lodged an arms act case against the JD (U) activists, alleging they were carrying illegal arms,” the SP told HT.
He denied that the injured persons had been tied behind horses and dragged on the ground for any distance.
However, JD (U) MLA Neeraj, who is also a whip of the ruling party in the Bihar assembly, insisted there was absolutely no doubt that that the victims were dragged after being tied behind horses.
“The Ganga diara (riverine area) of Naugacchia is the wild west of Bihar, where it is common for horse riding criminals to enforce their diktats in the most inhuman fashion,” he said.
Neeraj said while a political dispute may have been one of the causes behind the incident, it could not have been the sole one.
“Earlier, too, the accused had done similar, unspeakable things to terrorise the weaker sections of the society,” he claimed.