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Friday, September 28, 2001

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Train torched

By Our Staff Correspondent

MUZAFFARPUR, SEPT. 27. Even though the people's anger seemed to subside, several groups defied the indefinite curfew clamped on the municipal limits and resorted to sporadic violence which included the torching of a passenger train here today.

The unprecedented protest was basically against the dubious role of the police and the team of doctors which conducted the autopsy on the body of Gautam Kumar, five-year-old son of Mr. Ratan Singh, a bank employee.

Both the police and doctors were accused of being hand in glove to hush up the case in the most sinister design. The first autopsy report claimed that the mutilated body was that of a 15- year-old youth and that he was murdered about a fortnight ago.

The version changed with the insistence of the father that the body was that of his son. The administration called for a second autopsy; the age was put at six and the timing of the death too was modified accordingly.

The people were at a loss to understand the motive behind the murder of such a small boy. One of the reasons could be the arm- twisting tactics that the police might have adopted to get the boy released.

While the police had been accused of not acting in time to rescue the kid, the murder of the boy is sure to compel the police to rethink its strategy in handling kidnapping cases.

Meanwhile, the State Government today announced that a high-lvel enquiry committee would look into the motive behind the boy's kidnapping and murder as also the lapses of the police that disturbed normalcy in the town.

The RJD president, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav, held the misleading reports of the doctors about the boy's age as responsible for the violence. He also accused the NDA leaders of not cooperating in normalising the situation and trying to take political mileage out of it.

`Dismiss Rabri Devi Govt.'

Our Special Correspondent from New Delhi reports:

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance, today demanded the dismissal of the Rabri Devi Government for its `failure to protect the lives of innocent people' in the State.

Condemning the recent Muzaffarpur firing, the Lok Janshakti Party President, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, charged that the Rabri Devi Government was `encouraging criminals' and was ruling the State on the strength of police.

In order to highlight the problem, the Lok Janshakti has decided to march to Rashtrapati Bhawan on Oct. 2 and present a memorandum to the President demanding dismissal of the RJD-led government.

Mr. Paswan also criticised the Congress for continuing to support the Rabri Devi government and said lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha prevents the Centre from taking steps in this direction.

Assembly adjourned

PTI adds:

A determined Opposition stalled the proceedings of Bihar assembly for the second consecutive day today over the killing of a boy, death of eight protestors in subsequent police firing. The House, which was convened two hours ahead of the normal time for a special debate on the power scenario could not take up any business. As soon as the House assembled at 9.00 a.m., the NDA members entered the well and shouted slogans.

As the Opposition remained adamant, the Speaker, Mr. Sadanand Singh adjourned the House till 11 a.m. He adjourned the House again till lunch recess barely five minutes after it reassembled as the Opposition members continued their agitation. Later, the NDA MLAs took out a silent procession from Martyr Memorial to Gandhi Maidan to lodge their protest against the incidents.

A train was set ablaze at Muzaffarpur station on Thursday by an irate mob following the murder of an abducted boy. - Photo: Ranjit Kumar

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