An enraged mob of villagers attacked a police station after a youth died in custody in Bihar’s West Champaran district on Saturday. A policeman was lynched and a few others were injured in the attack. Three police vehicles were set on fire.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Yadav termed the incident “administrative anarchy” in Bihar.
On Sunday, police said the youth had died of bee sting and not of custodial torture. As many as 14 people have been arrested for attacking the police station.
District police officials said a team was on patrol in Arya Nagar under the Belthar police station of West Champaran district on Holi (March 19) when they spotted a youth, Aniruddha Kumar Yadav, playing loud music in the village.
The police took Mr. Kumar to the station, where he died. When the news of Mr. Kumar’s death spread in Arya Nagar, an enraged mob of hundreds of people attacked the police station. The villagers also blocked the Belthar-Bettiah road for several hours.
The villagers accused the policemen of beating Mr. Kumar brutally, resulting in his death. “The policemen had beaten Aniruddha Kumar with butts of weapon and batons, following which he died. It was a clear case of torture under custody at the police station,” a resident of Arya Nagar said, preferring anonymity.
3 vehicles set afire
One policeman, Ram Jatan Singh, died and several others got injured in the mob attack on the Belthar station. Mr. Singh died of severe head injuries, said policemen. The policemen at the Belthar station had to flee the spot to save their lives. The mob later set at least three police vehicles on fire.
On Sunday, West Champaran Superintendent of Police Upendra Nath Verma said Mr. Kumar died of bee sting and not of torture during custody as alleged by the villagers.
“There were several beehives in the camps of the police station and the youth died of bee sting and not of any police torture. The post-mortem was done with video recording. As many as 14 people have been arrested for attacking the police station,” Mr. Verma told journalists and added the situation was under control.
Meanwhile, speaking to media persons in Delhi, Mr. Tejashwi Yadav termed the incident “administrative anarchy” and urged the government to look into it. “Custodial death in Bettiah is unfortunate. In earlier incidents too, police have killed people in custody. There is administrative anarchy in Bihar”, said Mr. Yadav.