PATNA: A man was killed when police opened fire on a rioting mob besieging a police station in Samastipur district in central Bihar on Friday. A mob of more than 300 people laid siege to the Tajpur police station to protest the lack of any action following a murder on Wednesday night.
However, a senior officer denied that the death was due to police firing.
At least 15 policemen and 12 protesters were injured in the riot at the Tajpur police station including additional superintendent of police Amir Javed and SDPO (headquarters) Ashok Kumar Mandal.
The mob set afire several cards and bikes inside the police station and pelted stones at policemen. The Samastipur-Patna-Muzaffarpur state highway was blocked.
Six protesters were detained, police said.
The mob was lathicharged, but refused to disperse, forcing police to fire at least 20 rounds, said sources.
Samastipur SP Deepak Ranjan, however, denied that the death of a protester was due to police firing. "The protesters had guns and the young man who died was possibly killed by a stray gun shot," he said.
Additional director-general (headquarters) S K Singhal said in Patna that an inquiry has been ordered to determine whether it was indeed police firing that killed the protester.
The people were protesting the brutal murder of a supplier of medicines, Janardan Thakur, 55, by criminals on Wednesday night. The protesters accused police of inaction as no arrests were made till Friday.
Section 144 has been imposed in Tajpur and armed policemen conducted a flag-march to take control of the streets. Police reinforcements were called in from Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga districts as the situation remained tense.
Bihar director-general of police P.K. Thakur held a meeting of his staff in Patna to discuss the incident at Tajpur. Chief minister Nitish Kumar condemned the violence and condoled the death of the man killed in the protest.
"The situation is returning to normalcy," ADGP Singhal said. "There seems to have been some administrative lapses, which would be probed."