Election time for them is actually a time to fear. No, it’s not the threat of the candidates or their supporters, but the visit of police constables to their villages under Jhangaha police station that the villagers fear most.
It is this time around when several residents from mostly sensitive and hyper-sensitive villages are booked for apprehension of breach of peace under Section 107/116 of the Cr PC.
Most of the booked, as the villagers claimed, are innocent. They neither have any record of criminal past nor any anti-social activity against them. Yet, most of them are booked under the section leaving no option for them but to appear before the SDM to get bail on personal bonds.
What is more shocking is the fact that the policemen who visit the villages write the names of a few villagers (given by any villager), get their signatures on a form on the pretext of either for the formation of a gram suraksha samiti or something else for their benefit.
“I was told that names of several villagers were needed for the formation of gram suraksha samiti,” said 22-year-old Sunil, a resident of Basui village, 30 km from the district headquarters.
“I thought it was the responsibility of the youths of the village as far as safety and security of the villages was concerned, so, I, besides giving my own name also ensured that names of my friends were included in the form.”
But to his and his friends’ dismay, they received a notice from the police station telling them to procure bail from the SDM court.
Sunil, however, has not gone to court as yet. Besides, Ramnath and over half-a-dozen other villagers have been booked for breach of peace. Like Basui, over a dozen villagers of Gaursera have also been booked under the section, said Shyamlal of the Gaursera village.
“It was a waste of money getting bail from SDM’s court for no fault,” said 60-year-old Vijay Bahadur Singh, a resident of Rajdhani Tola.
He said, “Why don’t these cops understand that at my age how could one even think of breaching peace,” he asked. A total of 102 persons from the village were booked under the section, said.
Suresh Yadav, a representative of the Rajdhani village pradhan Chandrawati Yadav. Similarly, villagers from Jaramool, Raji Jagdishpur and Sandhana etc had been booked under the section. When contacted, the only cop present at the Jhangaha police station (all others including the SO were on VIP duty) said it was not a cognisable section which should worry these villagers.
As per the Section 107/116, a person named has to furnish a personal bond (amount fixed by the magistrate) that in case any violence takes place in his area, the government would take bond money from the person booked.
For the records, a total number of 1,326 people under Jhangaha police station were booked for apprehension of breach of peace in view of the ongoing assembly elections. Indeed a perfect example of homework by cops to please bosses!