The Bihar government on Tuesday gave a clean chit to two suspended policemen who face criminal charges for brutally torturing an alleged chain snatcher in Bhagalpur two months ago.
Ramchandra Rai and LB Singh were cleared of all charges by the probe panel headed by legislator Vasudev Singh, who said they were trying to save Salim alias Aurganzeb from an angry mob.
The incident took place in Nathnagar in Bhagalpur district on Aug 27. TV footage showed the alleged chain snatcher Salim, who is in his early 20s, being thrashed and a cop dragging him through the streets after tying him to a motorcycle.
The gruesome episode triggered national outrage and violent clashes in Nathnagar a day later with angry crowds stoning a police station following rumours that the man had died due to the torture. Fortunately, however, Salim was hospitalised in a critical condition and has since recovered.
"Both policemen on duty were not directly involved in the torture of an alleged chain-snatcher in Bhagalpur. We come to the conclusion that two of them were trying to save Salim from an angry mob," said inquiry panel head Vasudev Singh.
The government had ordered the probe two days after the incident.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to the Bihar home department to produce a report on the incident. The commission viewed the incident as a serious violation of human rights by the policemen.