The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

June 23, 2011

Bihar govt urged to take action on Araria SP for Forbesganj killings

Several political parties and social organisations have asked the Bihar government to take disciplinary action against the senior officials of Araria district for the unprovoked firing on villagers in Forbesganj earlier this month.

Minority groups have said that Superintendent of Police (SP) Garima Malik should be booked for murder, as a pregnant woman and a child had been shot dead in the brutal massacre that occurred after police began firing allegedly at a local BJP leader's instance.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that a probe has been ordered but the judicial inquiry is yet to begin. Kumar who leads the JDU-BJP government avoided meeting the National Commission for Minorities chairman Wajahat Habibullah who visited the place on Wednesday.

Former union minister Ram Vilas Paswan who apprised Prime Minister about the gruesome killings, has also demanded tough action. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) wants that the SP and SDO be suspended and charged with murder.

Meanwhile, Muslim groups took out a protest march and reached the Governor's House in Patna. They were demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident and arrest of BJP MLC Ashok Agarwal, his son Saurabh Agarwal, SP Garima Malik, Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Ashok Chaudhary.

The protesters said that a case of murder should be registered against these officials. The RJD, Communist parties, Congress and several other outfits have already asked for action on officials including the SP in whose presence victims were kicked and jumped upon by the policemen.

TIH Bureau

June 15, 2011

Forbesganj firing: Police atrocities on Muslims hurts Nitish Kumar's secular image

The firing on Muslims in Bihar's Forbesganj in which four villagers including a pregnant woman and an infant were killed, is fast turning into the biggest political challenge for the JDU-led coaliation.

The opposition has geared up to corner the State government over the issue. Meanwhile, social organisations, Muslim groups and civil rights bodies are also gunning for the police officials who ordered the firing on villagers.

This is the biggest challenge for Nitish Kumar who came to power with a resounding majority and formed the government with BJP's support. The incident has become a rallying point for the opposition parties including the RJD, LJP and Congress.

Ram Vilas Paswan, Lalu Yadav and prominent Congress leaders have joined hands to embarrass the government, as except one victim, the family of no other victim killed in the firing was handed over any financial compensation.

The firing took place in Araria's Forbesganj in the first week of June. But Baba Ramdev's fast overshadowed it. However, protests continued over the manner in which police opened fire at villagers. A video that showed a policeman stomping over and kicking a man who had been hit with a bullet, caused mass outrage.

Opposition hopes that Forbesganj issue would hurt Nitish Kumar, as he had cultivated his image carefully as a secular leader. By not letting Narendra Modi enter Bihar for campaign, Nitish had sent a signal to the minorities.

The latest incident is bound to give him a headache. Clearly, all is not well in Bihar. Though Nitish succeeded in improving law-and-order situation, this incident has come as a blot for the administration.

If the State government had taken firm action on the guilty it would not have faced such protests from Patna to Delhi. For now, the Opposition has got a stick to beat the JDU-BJP government with. Let's see if the Bihar governments goes for a damage control and accepts the demand for CBI inquiry.

TIH Bureau

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