PATNA: Criminals shot dead a two-year-old boy in Bihar’s Begusarai district allegedly because his parents refused to fork out Rs 50,000 they had demanded extortion money.
The shocking incident occurred at Dhabauli village under Lakho police station area during a procession taken out for immersion of Goddess Saraswati’s idol late on Wednesday evening. Sidhash Kumar, aged two, was in the arms of his grandmother standing in front of his house and watching the procession pass by.
“A few shots were fired during the procession and one bullet hit the little boy. He was rushed to a hospital nearby, but he was declared brought dead,” said Balmukund Rai, the officer in-charge of Lakho police station.
Sources said the boy’s father, Kailu Rai, had been asked by the criminals three days ago to fork out Rs 50,000 and threatened with dire consequences if he did not comply. Kailu had refused to pay them any money.
“It is not sure if the criminals shot at the child intentionally or one of the bullets fired in the air during the procession hit him accidentally. We are conducting a thorough probe into the incident,” said Begusarai DSP (sadar) Mithilesh Kumar. While four people were named accused in the FIR, none of them was arrested till Thursday night.
Bihar ADGP (headquarters) S.K. Singhal said in Patna that police are conducting raids to nab the culprits.
The incident, one of three shooting cases in Begusarai district in a span of 24 hours, prompted the Opposition parties in Bihar to renew their attacks on the government on the law and order issue.
“This innocent little boy’s death has shocked the entire state. This incident is proof that there is total lawlessness in Bihar. It is maha jungle raj (severe lawlessness) here,” said Bhai Birendra, a senior leader of the main Opposition party RJD.
The ruling JD(U)’s spokesperson and MLC Neeraj Kumar rubbished the charges and said police are working to arrest the boy’s killers. Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi of HAM, an NDA partner, blamed “political elements” for the worsening law and order situation. “CM Nitish Kumar should deal with lawlessness with an iron fist,” he added.