A National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team is visiting Bhagalpur district on Thursday to probe the brutal torture by police of an alleged chain-snatcher at Nathnagar in the district.
"The NHRC team will hold talks with Bhagalpur district administration officials, policemen, locals and also the victim to prepare a report," a senior district official said.
Two days after taking suo motu cognisance of the incident, the NHRC issued notice to the Bihar home department to produce a report on the incident. Its visit assumes significance as the commission views the incident as a serious violation of human rights by the policemen.
On Monday, Aurangzeb, a man in his early 20s, was thrashed and brutally tortured by police at Nathnagar. TV footage showed a cop dragging him through the street tied to the back of a motorcycle. He was hospitalised in a critical condition. His condition has improved Thursday, according to officials.
The incident triggered protests and violent clashes in Nathnagar. The situation turned tense Tuesday after an angry crowd threw stones at a police station following rumours that the man had died due to the torture. Some anti-socials tried to give a communal twist to the incident, but the local administration controlled the situation.
A case was lodged against the police who tortured Aurangzeb. A senior official in the state police headquarters here said a complaint has been registered against the erring policemen and they have been issued a show cause notice. The accused cops, Ramchandra Rai and LB Singh, were suspended on Tuesday.
"If a policeman doesn't respect the people, he has no right to hold the post," said State Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah.
"The chief minister has ordered a probe into the incident and the Bhagalpur district superintendent of police has been asked to conduct the probe," Amanullah said.
Bihar police spokesperson Inspector General Anil Sinha said action had been taken against the accused and the officer-in-charge of Nathnagar police station had been asked to submit a report soon.
But Sinha tried to downplay the incident, alleging that Aurangzeb had a criminal background. "There were criminal cases lodged against him. He was a known criminal in the area," Sinha said.
Monday's incident has come as an embarrassment for the state government.
Human rights organisations have condemned the incident and demanded immediate action against the policemen.