Friday, July 22, 2011

Cop chops off villager's wrist in Bihar

23 July 2011

Cop chops off villager’s wrist in Bihar

Manoj Chaurasia /PATNA:
Police are supposed to maintain law and order but in Bihar, they seem to be creating havoc for the ruling Nitish Kumar government. The men in khaki, who have been breaking laws with impunity, did it again, with a police officer being accused of chopping off the wrist of a man who had dared to rebuke him for using foul language in public.

There have been at least half-a-dozen incidents reported in recent months in which law enforcement officers have been caught killing innocent villagers in public, raping a woman inside a police station, and looting a mustard oil truck.

In the latest case, a policeman, it is alleged, chopped off the left wrist of a villager in the Purnia district of Bihar when the villager dared to ask the police officer to stop shouting abuse in public. The victim, Vishnu Deo, has been admitted to a government hospital for treatment of his dismembered wrist. Apparently, the accused police officer was involved in a dispute with local villagers over a piece of land, and was hurling insults at rivals in his village on Thursday. Mr Deo, overhearing the offensive discourse, came out of his house and asked the officer to stop. This angered the police officer so much that he attacked the villager with a sharp-edged axe, resulting in the dismemberment of his left hand.

Local television showed the dismembered limb in a plastic bag near the victim's bed at a local hospital, while the victim with his bandaged arm sobbed at the sight of it. Shocked family members have demanded compensation from the government, saying they now face starvation. Meanwhile, a case has been lodged with the Tikapatti police station. Local SP, Mr Amit Lodha has stated that he will arrest the accused soon, but that the most pressing question is who will now feed the family, since the lone breadwinner has lost his hand, and with it, his ability to work and earn.

This is not the first time that the inhuman face of the Bihar police force has been exposed. In March, this year, policemen at the Patkhauli police station in West Champaran district were involved in the gang rape of a woman from Uttar Pradesh. Although the government swiftly dismissed the accused jawan, Munna Miyan, from service and suspended two other constables for negligence of duty, the incident brought considerable embarrassment to the state administration. The female victim had been on her way to her parent's house in Gorakhpur after being thrown out of her marital home at Kushinagar in UP, when she met the accused policeman at the Bagaha railway station. He brought her to the police station, where she was raped by several officers.

On 8 March, five policemen were caught looting a mustard oil truck on the national highway by the Shivsagar police station in Rohtas district. The uniformed officers were seen joining villagers in filling up their buckets with mustard oil. The government suspended five of the jawans involved.

In June, a home guard jawan, Sunil Kumar Yadav was arrested and sent to jail following an incident in Forbesganj. Television footage showed the jawan jumping upon a man's face, who having been hit by police bullets was laying on the ground, and kicking him as the individual died. Human rights activists and civil society leaders severely criticised the action.

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