PATNA: Five juvenile inmates lodged at a remand home in Bihar’s Purnea escaped after shooting a fellow juvenile and the warden dead apparently to avenge reporting about their habit of consuming a cough syrup as a narcotic, police said on Thursday.
Warden Vijendra Mandal, 29, and juvenile inmate Saroj Kumar, 17, were rushed to a nearby hospital moments after they were shot at on Wednesday evening, but they were declared brought dead. They were shot by a pistol and from close range, said police sources. Two other juvenile inmates were left injured in the firing.
The two juveniles who perpetrated the crime brandished the pistol at the watchman and forced him to open the gate before escaping with three other juveniles. Sources said the juvenile who opened fire is the son of a local leader of Bihar’s ruling JD(U), Amarendra Kumar Kushwaha.
Police officials probing the case interrogated Kushwaha for an hour on Thursday. “I often found acute lawlessness at this remand home. I want an impartial probe to ascertain how a pistol came into the facility and who fired,” said Kushwaha, whose son was lodged there a few months ago after being arrested for firing at a college student in Purnea.
The five juveniles who escaped had allegedly been consuming a banned cough syrup as a narcotic. Warden Vijendra Mandal was informed about it by juvenile inmate Saroj Kumar. A day before the incident, Mandal had rebuked the five inmates and asked them to quit consuming the cough syrup.
Incidentally, Purnea judicial magistrate first class Divya Prakash, who heads the juvenile justice board, had directed on Wednesday that the five drug-addicted juveniles be transferred to the remand home at Sheikhpura.
“A manhunt has been launched to trace and nab the five juveniles who escaped. A probe team has been formed to ascertain how the pistol came into the remand home,” said SP Vishal Sharma.
Meanwhile, a judicial probe was ordered into the incident on the recommendation of Purnea district magistrate Pradip Kumar Jha.