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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

FIR against 39 for Bihar AES protests

The fear of AES forced villagers in Harivanshpur village of Vaishali district to vacate their homes. Most families moved home with their children in tow to other villages after the outbreak of the vector-borne disease.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2019 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Patna
In this file photo, Indian children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) are surrounded by relatives as they are treated at the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur district in the eastern state of Bihar. (Photo by STR / AFP)
In this file photo, Indian children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) are surrounded by relatives as they are treated at the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur district in the eastern state of Bihar. (Photo by STR / AFP)( )
         

Police have filed a first information report (FIR) against residents of Harivanshpur village in Bihar’s Vaishali district who blocked National Highway 22 on June 18 to protest against the deaths of children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Nearly 152 children have died of AES in 12 districts of Bihar, including Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran.

The Harivanshpur villagers, a couple of whom lost their children to the disease, are reported to have disrupted traffic for over three hours, damaged windscreens of many vehicles and manhandled passers-by and administrative officials.

Following this, a case was filed against 39 people, 20 of them unknown, under Indian Penal Code sections 147-148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) based on a statement from the SHO of Bhagwanpur police station, Sanjay Kumar. Harivanshpur village falls under Bhagwanpur police station. SHO Kumar confirmed registration of the FIR as well as the fact that two persons named in it -- Ramdeo Sahni and Rajesh Kumar -- had “lost their children due to AES”. “My seven-year-old daughter Rupa died of the disease. We blocked the road and demanded water and necessary medicines. But the administration lodged a case against me,” Rajesh said.

Ramdeo, who lost his 3-year-old daughter, alleged that the administration had not launched any AES awareness campaign or made proper arrangements in hospitals to tackle the outbreak.

Police officers said the villagers had blocked the highway anticipating the chief minister Nitish Kumar’s visit to Muzaffarpur. But the CM took a chopper. The FIR was lodged against the villagers following the incident.

First Published: Jun 25, 2019 17:54 IST

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