PATNA: Tension gripped the police lines in the heart of Patna on Friday when hundreds of trainee police constables, many of them women, vandalised the office premises and attacked some senior police officials after a woman constable died of dengue.
Nearly 300 agitating constables broke the windscreens and window glasses of about a dozen cars belonging to senior officials with sticks and bricks. They also threw stones at two senior officials – an SP-rank official and a sergeant major-cum-DSP – present there. Two television channel journalists covering the incident were injured in the attack. Some trainee constables also allegedly opened fire during the violent protests.
The situation came under control after Rapid Action Force (RAF) jawans flag-marched the area and deployments from the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and Special Task Force (STF) were summoned. Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj, wearing riot gear, visited the area and supervised efforts to bring normalcy back to the police lines.
It all began with trainee constables shouting slogans against senior police officials soon after learning that Sabita Pathak, a constable, succumbed to dengue at a city hospital in the morning. They alleged that her request for leave in order to seek treatment and take adequate rest was turned down.
The protests soon became violent as the trainee constables gheraoed the residence of police lines commandant Mohammad Masruddin. The police lines turned into a war zone within minutes and the rampage spilt out on to the roads around it, affecting normal traffic movement.
“The trainee constables have spent just a few days in training and are not familiar with the discipline and work culture of the police force. They were apparently misguided by some anti-social elements. The whole episode will be thoroughly probed and suitable action would be taken,” said Bihar DGP KS Dwivedi.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sought a report from the DGP and the home secretary about the incident. The Opposition RJD and Congress attacked the government, accusing it of failure to keep the police force as a disciplined unit.