Agitated over the death of a student, an irate mob of students and locals indulged in vandalism and set afire the building of the Jhanjahrpur police station and office of the inspector of police in Madhubani district on Thursday.
They also looted household articles belonging to the police officials and torched over a dozen police and private vehicles parked in the police station premises.
The police later lobbed teargas shells and used force to scare away the agitators, who were demanding handing over the driver and the cleaner of the truck that had run over an 18-year-old boy, Mohammad Safiq, a class 10 student of Kejariwal High School.
At least five policemen, including station house officer RN Tiwari sustained injuries in brickbatting. Reports reaching the state police headquarters said that Mohammad Safiq, a resident of Bermu village, was run over by a speeding truck at around 10 am. As the report of the death of Safiq reached the school, a large number of students attacked the police station and the office of the inspector of police.
The locals later joined the agitation and blocked Jhanjharpur-Fulparas road. When the policemen tried to intervene, they were brutally assaulted by the agitators. After setting ablaze the buildings housing the police station and the office of the inspector of police, the agitators vandalized the houses of the policemen and destroyed household articles. The official quarters of the policemen also set on fire.
A woman constable, who lives in the thana premises, also fell victim to mob fury. The situation was brought under control after senior police officials reached the spot with reinforcements. When contacted, Deputy Superintendent of Police Vishram Das said some policemen had to run away from the police station to safe their lives.
The official records at the police station and in the office of the inspector of police were completely destroyed in the arson, he said, adding that the exhibits stored in the malkhana of the police station were also damaged. Madhubani Superintendent of Police Manju Jha, who rushed to the spot after getting information, said that over 6 persons have been detained for interrogation in connection with the incident.
“The injured policemen have been admitted to Jhanjharpur sub-divisional hospital for treatment,” she said. Additional Director General (headquarters) Neelmani said that instructions have been issued by Director General of Police Anand Shankar to identity people involved in taking law into their hands.
“Stern action will be taken against such elements,” he said. DIG, Darbhanga, Baldev Prasad is also camping at the site. Sources said that the mob turned violent after they came to know that the driver escaped with the vehicle after hitting Rafiq in front of the police station.
The truck was later seized by the policemen from Kanhauli village, about 8 km from the police station. When the mob came to know about the seizure of the vehicle, a section of agitators rushed to the spot and set it on fire.