Staff Reporter

Assailant arrested, ASI suspended dereliction

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered police chief D.N. Gautam to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation into Thursday’s alleged assault on and stripping of a woman on a Patna street, an incident he condemned as “utterly shameful and a blot on society.”

Mr. Kumar on Friday ordered that the guilty be apprehended at the earliest and convicted.

“We are taking this matter very seriously. The mobile patrolling van should have reached the spot in less than 10 minutes,” he said admonishing the police for tardiness.

It is alleged Rakesh Kumar from Muzzafarpur, along with four accomplices, beat up the victim and then stripped her in full view of the public, while the police simply stood by for an hour before taking action. He was later arrested along with the owner of a hotel where the victim was lodged.

Police sources said Rakesh was involved in the flesh trade and had lured the victim to Patna with the promise of a job. However, Additional Director-General of Police (Headquarters) Neelmani said the girl, a resident of Jasidih town in Jharkhand, was already into the flesh trade and that she was assaulted following a disagreement over money.

Uproar in Assembly

Mr. Neelmani said assistant sub-inspector Shiv Nath Singh, who was in charge of patrolling the area, was placed under suspension on the charge of dereliction of duty.

In the Assembly, members of Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Jan Shakti Party, Communist Party of India (ML) Liberation and Congress stormed into the well in protest against the Patna incident, bringing proceedings to a grinding halt. The House was adjourned several times.

The Opposition members shouted slogans, “Stop atrocities against women,” and put chairs on desks as a mark of protest.

When the House convened after lunch, the Opposition refused to relent, forcing the Speaker to adjourn it for the fourth time till 4.30 p.m.

The Opposition continued with its protests even as Water Resources Minister Vijendra Prasad Yadav tried to make a statement on behalf of the government.

The first supplementary budget and the appropriation bill were passed amidst the pandemonium.

Mr. Nitish Kumar appealed to the Opposition parties not to “politicise the event by indulging in petty bickering and blame game.”

“It is important to send the right message to society by debating the matter constructively and remaining united in resolving the issue,” he said.

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