Sunday, January 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bihar orders CBI probe into encounter

Policemen relax as normal life returns to Patna on Saturday.
Policemen relax as normal life returns to Patna on Saturday.
— PTI photo

Patna, January 4
In a bid to stem political opposition following large-scale violence, the Bihar Government today decided to hand over to the CBI the investigation of last Saturday’s killing of three youths here allegedly in a fake police encounter.

Announcing this at a crowded press conference here Chief Minister Rabri Devi said the CBI would also probe the killing of two persons at Manjhaul in Begusarai district by the police in a case of mistaken identity on December 23.

The government would fully cooperate with the central investigating agency, she said.

The Chief Minister said the CID investigation into the killing of the three youths already under way would continue till the CBI took over the case.

RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav, who was present at the hurriedly-called press conference, said a sinister attempt was being made by the Centre and the NDA to create confusion over institution of the CID inquiry.

“We want the truth to come out even though we don’t doubt the sincerity of the state agency (CID) .... there was no attempt to hush up the matter,” he said.

Mr Yadav said the government did its best to bring to book the police personnel involved in Saturday’s encounter. The Sub-Inspector of Shastrinagar police station had already been arrested and remanded in judicial custody, he pointed out.

Mrs Rabri Devi said the state government had already announced ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh to the families of each of the three victims.

Blasting the NDA for trying to politicise a human tragedy she said “yeh log lash par rajniti ki roti sek rahe hain (they are playing politics over bodies)”.

Meanwhile, The political cauldron continued to boil in Bihar for the fifth consecutive day today with the NDA and Left parties staging dharnas across the state, burning effigies of the Chief Minister and pledging to intensify the agitation for dismissal of the Rabri Devi ministry for “lawlessness and police brutality” in the killing of three students in an alleged fake encounter.

The NDA, during its crucial meeting held here at the BJP state headquarters, resolved to further intensify its agitation launched in the aftermath of the killing of the three students.

The agitation had taken the shape of a mass upsurge against the Rabri Devi ministry, it claimed.

The meeting charted out the NDA’s future course of action and decided that a delegation of its constituents would meet Governor V.C. Pande on Monday seeking the dismissal of the Rabri Devi government. PTI

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