Sunday, March 18, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Flag march by Army, 13 dead
RJD MP vows to kill Siwan SP
Santosh Jha

Patna, march 17
The ever so controversial RJD MP, Mohammad Shahabuddin, an accused in several criminal cases including murders, in a blatant show of brute power-cult that pervades the socio-political layers of Bihar, has vowed to kill the Siwan Superintendent of Police (SP), Mr Bachchu Singh Meena, after the ‘rebellious’ district police force, under the leadership of the SP raided the village of the MP. A huge cache of arms including an AK-47, has been recovered from his village house. In the crossfire between the supporters of the MP and the police, two cops including a sub-inspector, and 11 others, allegedly the men of Shahabuddin, were killed late on Friday evening.

Top officials have rushed to the spot and three columns of Army and battalions of the paramilitary men have been positioned to restore peace after the incident as the MP has declared to avenge the killings of his men and attack on his village, Pratappur.

The Army columns from Ranchi and Danapur Military Camp staged a flag march today, three companies of the Central Paramilitary forces, which were camping at the spot, did likewise in the sensitive pockets to instill confidence among the people.

The MP is said to be a law unto himself in his district and as he has on Friday threatened to kill the SP and avenge the police action, the state government has called the Army. The MP has refused to surrender and admits he has done no wrong.

The Uttar Pradesh police force from the neighbouring districts also rushed to the aid of the Bihar counterpart. The MP claims the police killed 10 or more of his innocent villagers. The terror of the incident and the feared revenge of the MP are so great that Siwan town traders have started fleeing and public at large chose to remain indoors since Friday night.

The row between the district police and the MP and his men started on Thursday when the MP went to a matriculation exam centre and started unleashing unwarranted violence on students allegedly indulging in unfair means. The DSP present there prevented him and asked him to leave the school premises. The police also tried to arrest one Thakur Manoj Kumar ‘Pappu’ who was with the MP and against whom there is an arrest warrant in connection with a kidnapping case.

The MP allegedly not only prevented the DSP from arresting him but also reportedly trained his gun at the DSP and assaulted him. The DSP had to return back as he was accompanied only by the homeguards.

On Friday, when the SP, DM and the DIG were holding a review meet with UP police officials, the angry and ‘rebellious’ district police men stormed the meet and asked for the permission of the SP and DM to encounter the MP who was in his village 15 k.m. of the town. As the officials ‘denied’ permission the angry police men set afire the official cars of the SP, DM and DIG and attacked the circuit house damaging property. It is alleged that policemen also manhandled the three officials. Later the SP led them to raid the village of the MP where they were faced with the supporters of the MP and the crossfire ensued.

The supporters also attacked a police outpost and set it afire. The policemen in return set ablaze the car of the MP.

The crossfire continued for more than five hours in which more than 2000 rounds of fire were exchanged between the two sides. Two cops and five MP supporters/villagers were killed in the exchange of fire. The MP was himself said to have fired and lobbed bombs at the police. The UP police was rushed to help the Bihar police.

The Siwan police force is said to be planning an attack on the notorious MP for the last many days as his alleged high-handedness had led to their insult and attack on them many a times. In January too the MP is said to have misbehaved with and attacked a police officer.

The district policemen are angry with the DM, Mohammad Rashid Khan for his alleged support to the misdeeds of the DM. The district police are adamant and would settle for nothing less than the head of the MP. The MP too vows to pay back in the same coin.

Meanwhile the issue has caused more trouble for the RJD chief Laloo Yadav who had to cancel his tour to Delhi to strengthen the People’s Front of Jyoti Basu. The minority community ministers and MLAs of the RJD have made a common cause with the MP and have said that it is a plot. The ‘rebel camp’ leader and minister in Rabri Devi Cabinet said it is a plot to kill the MP.

He said the time had come for the minority leaders to decide whether there is any place for minorities in the RJD or not. Other leaders are also openly flaunting the communal card.

The rebel camp at Delhi has alleged that as the MP had declared his loyalty in favour of the dissidents and Ranjan Yadav, Laloo Prasad Yadav has set the plot to terrorise him.Back

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