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Mystery shrouds death of four children in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur

While the Muzaffarpur district administration claimed that the children had drowned in a seasonal shallow lake, family members said they had been killed.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 14:47 IST
Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur
drowning,children drown,bodies found
A crowd near the seasonal shallow lake where bodies of four children were recovered in Muzaffarpur district. (HT photo)

Mystery shrouds the death of four children in north Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, with the district administration and the families of the victims making contradictory claims on the cause of their death.

While the district administration claimed that the children had drowned in a chaur (seasonal shallow lake) at Kurseda village in Sahebganj police station area of Muzaffarpur district, 71 km north from Patna, family members said they had been killed. “The bodies have bruises and burn injuries on their face,” parents of the victims said on Wednesday.

Angry villagers on Wednesday blocked the state highway, connecting Vaishali district and Kesaria in East Champaran district, demanding a thorough inquiry into the incident.

The bodies of four of the five children, who went missing from the village, were recovered from the chaur on Tuesday night. A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was engaged to trace the missing fifth child, police said.

“We have been told that the five children of Kurseda village had left their homes on Monday afternoon, apparently to visit a fair in a neighbouring village, and had since been missing,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vivek Kumar said.

Kumar and district magistrate (DM) Dharmendra Singh were camping at the village since recovery of the bodies.

Vijay Kumar, father of one of the victims, Misir Kumar,8, said he had reasons to believe that the children were murdered. “The killers have thrown the bodies in the chaur to conceal the truth and show the incident as a case of drowning,” he added.

Jagan Mahto, father of Uday Kumar, whose body was also recovered, dittoed Vijay Kumar. He alleged that the kin of victims were threatened and chased away by the station house officer (SHO) of the Sahebganj police station, where they went to lodge their complaint.

Mahto said when he reached the spot he found burn injuries on the faces of the children. “Even blood stains were found on their eye, ear and nose, apart from some marks of bruises,” he added.

The DM said the parents of the victims claimed that their children had been killed and not drowned. “We have set up a medical board to ascertain the reason behind the deaths,” the DM said, adding that the SSP had also set up a special team to investigate the matter.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 14:47 IST