PATNA: Five people, including a local RJD leader, were on Friday sentenced to seven years in jail for parading a woman naked on the streets in Bihar’s Bhojpur district in August. Fifteen other accused were sentenced to two years in jail in the same case.
All the 20 accused persons were convicted by a special court for atrocities against SC/ST communities at Ara on Wednesday for the incident at Bihiya in Bhojpur district, which had sparked outrage nationwide. First additional district and sessions judge RC Dwivedi delivered the sentences after hearing the final arguments.
Local RJD leader Kishori Yadav, Bishnu Kumar, Mumtaz Ansari, Vinod Kumar Keshri and Sikandar Kumar were sentenced to seven years in jail and a fine of Rs 10,000 each for outraging the modesty of a woman, rioting and offences under relevant sections of the SC/ ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The fifteen other accused got two years in jail and Rs 2,000 fine each for rioting and similar offences under the Act.
Altogether 22 people were named accused for the incident. While one of them is a juvenile, another has been evading arrest, said police officials. The state government had placed the case under speedy trial.
Eight policemen were placed under suspension in Bhojpur district after the middle-aged woman was thrashed and paraded naked by a mob on August 20 on the suspicion that she was involved in the murder of a 19-year-old man.
The murder had sparked a mob frenzy in Bihiya town, about 60 km from Patna, as scores of men dragged the woman out of her house, ripped off her clothes and paraded her naked on the roads. She was also kicked and slapped while being made to walk nearly a kilometre through a local market.
The mob, allegedly led by RJD leader Kishori Yadav, had also set afire a number of shops and damaged vehicles. Several trains passing through the town were pelted with stones. Video footage of the violence, aired by television channels and widely shared on the social media, had caused embarrassment to Bihar’s Nitish Kumar-led NDA government.