The memories of ‘Jungle Raj’ of the 1990s and early 2000s came back to haunt Bihar after a youth was brutally murdered by three others in the state’s Saran district on 2 February.
The incident occurred at Mubarakpur village in Chhapra, Saran, when three men allegedly kidnapped the deceased and two others and beat them over an old electoral dispute. One person died and two others are reported to be in critical condition.
The video of the three men beating up the deceased and two others had gone viral on social media platforms.
The state government has temporarily banned 23 social media applications, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, until 8 February, in the district and surrounding 20 km area.
The police have so far arrested Atul Yadav and Abhishek, and suspended the Manjhi Police Station in-charge Devanand, after an investigation. A special investigation team has also been formed to conduct further probe.
The other accused named Vijay Yadav is absconding. He is considered close to the Rashtriya Janata Dal, his wife being the village head (mukhiya) of Mubarakpur where the incident took place.
Later, on Sunday, an angry mob set the poultry farm owned by the main accused — where the incident took place — on fire. They also vandalised nearby homes, and pelted stones at the police, injuring two policemen.
Simultaneously, social media witnessed hashtags which highlighted the caste of the deceased — Rajput — and claimed that the community was being persecuted in the state.
Additional Director General of Police G S Gangwar informed that the first incident cannot be treated as a case of “self-defence” and has been registered as a case of murder.
He further added that the reaction three days later was also planned, and is being taken seriously.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan has attacked the Nitish Kumar government over growing lawlessness and "empty claims of good governance".
The situation was stable in Chhapra on Monday with no untoward incident being reported, as the police swung into action and deployed more than 2,000 personnel in the area.
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