The Election Commission on Thursday ordered an inquiry and the removal of the superintendent of police and the district magistrate of Bihar’s Munger district in connection with the police firing, in which one person was killed and several were injured, NDTV reported.
Bihar’s chief electoral officer said the investigation has to be completed within seven days and will be led by Magadh Divisional Commissioner Asangba Chuba Ao.
A new district magistrate and superintendent of police will be posted in Munger on Thursday. The officials removed from duty are Munger District Magistrate Rajesh Meena and Superintendent of Police Lipi Singh, according to NDTV.
On Monday, police fired on and baton-charged a group taking a Durga idol for immersion, leading to violent clashes. More than 25 people including 20 security personnel were injured in the incident.
Unidentified men on Thursday attacked the offices of the deputy superintendent of police and the superintendent of police, ANI reported. The mob was demanding action against the senior police officials.
An altercation reportedly broke out over the manner in which the idol immersion ceremony took place. Prakash Bhagat, a member of a committee overseeing the immersion, said more than 53 Durga idols were installed in Munger. Out of these, 15 were taken for immersion in the Ganga river at the Deendayal Chowk on the night of the clashes.
Several organisers objected to this and allegedly started pelting stones at the police. The personnel responded by baton charging the angry crowd. When the situation escalated, they reportedly opened fire on the crowd. Later personnel from the Bihar Military Police and paramilitary forces were also deployed in the affected areas.
The police claimed they were compelled to fire to disperse the mob, and people had allegedly retaliated with counter firing. “Rumours were spread and attempts were made to vitiate the atmosphere after the incident,” an unidentified police official said.
Traditionally, the idols are immersed after three days of Vijayadashami. But the police this time insisted on immersing them before 5 am on Tuesday, as the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections polling took place on Wednesday. The next two phases are scheduled for November 3 and November 7.