Two dozen injured in clash

GAYA: Nearly two dozen persons, several of them policemen, were injured in a violent clash between the police and the CPI(ML) activists outside Paraiya police station in Gaya district on Thursday. One person with head injuries was rushed to Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMMCH), Gaya. According to CPI(ML) leader Niranjan Kumar, villagers and party supporters including a sizeable number of women belonging to the women’s wing of the party, had gathered outside the Paraiya PS to register their protest against the alleged police inaction in a case of gang-rape in which a Class XII student belonging to the disadvantaged group was allegedly gang-raped by few local young men belonging to the land owning class.

The CPI(ML) leader said the police took about two weeks to register the case and no action had been taken against the culprits who continue to harass school and college-going girls and were roaming freely in the area. The incident took place on September 12, 2012, and the case was registered on September 25. Niranjan Kumar also said this was not the first case of its kind and some victims have not gone to the police on account of social stigma. The CPI(ML) leader accused the Paraiya SHO of resorting to lathicharge “peaceful protestors” and police opening “unprovoked firing” resulting in injury to protestors.

Rubbishing the charge, Gaya SSP Vinay Kumar said nobody was injured in the police firing as the firing was made in the air only to deter the rampaging crowd that had come prepared to torch the police station. Despite acute provocation, the police exercised utmost restraint even at the risk to the life of the policemen, he said. On the point of delay in the lodging of the FIR, the SSP attributed the delay to the non-arrival of the victim for case registration. It was for the victim to explain why she approached the police so late, said the SSP. The SSP also claimed that all efforts were being made to arrest the culprits named in the FIR.

The mob was violent and motivated, said the SSP. When contacted, the Magadh Range DIG Naiyyer Hasnain Khan said about one dozen policemen sustained injuries in the CPI(ML) sponsored violence. The situation was tense but under control and reinforcement had been sent in view of the perceived Naxal threat in the Paraiya area. The SSP was camping at Paraiya, said the DIG. Khan also said the allegation of delayed case registration and non-arrest of culprits will be looked into separately. “But nobody can be allowed to take the law into his own hands,” added Khan. Over 25 CPI(ML) activists were arrested in connection with the incident. Police claimed to have seized microphones and country-made weapons from the possession of the arrested persons.

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