Deceased BJP functionary was not present at protest site in Patna during lathi-charge: Police

Preliminary investigation and scrutiny of CCTV footages reveal that Vijay Kumar Singh had never reached the Dak Bungalow roundabout where the lathi-charge took place.
Security personnel baton charge BJP supporters during their protest march towards Vidhan Sabha in support of demands of teachers' job aspirants. (Photo | PTI)
Security personnel baton charge BJP supporters during their protest march towards Vidhan Sabha in support of demands of teachers' job aspirants. (Photo | PTI)

PATNA: The Bihar Police claimed that deceased BJP functionary Vijay Kumar Singh was not killed in lathi-charge as he was not present at the protest site in Patna when the police action took place, while the saffron party iterated he was "very much present" at the spot.

The police issued a statement after the BJP alleged that Singh, the Jehanabad district general secretary of the saffron party, was killed in police lathi-charge during the party's 'Vidhan Sabha march' on Thursday in protest against the state government's new teacher recruitment policy.

"Preliminary investigation and scrutiny of CCTV footages of different locations have revealed that Vijay Kumar Singh, who was a native of Jehanabad, had never reached the Dak Bungalow roundabout where the lathi-charge took place," said the statement issued by Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Rajeev Mishra late on Thursday.

"In one of the footages, Singh and two persons accompanying him are seen moving in Chajju Bagh area through the Gandhi Maidan-Chajju Bagh Road at 1.22 pm. All three were interacting with each other and he was in a healthy condition. The rickshaw on which he was later taken to a nearby hospital was also seen in the same video at 1.27 pm. Later, eyewitnesses told police that Singh was seen lying on the road near an electric transformer, around 50 meters away from the CCTV camera," Mishra said.

Lathi-charge did not take place in that area, he said, adding that no external injury marks were found on the body of Singh.

"The two persons accompanying Singh have also told the police that they did not go to the Dak Bungalow roundabout. When they came to know about police barricading the roundabout, they decided not to go towards it. After that, Singh's friends took him to a nearby hospital by rickshaw. We believe that the rickshaw might have taken five to six minutes to reach the nearby hospital. The incident of his fainting might have taken place between 1.23 pm and 1.27 pm. The footage also revealed that no policemen were seen around Singh or around the rickshaw," the statement said.

"There was no scene of any kind of stampede in the footage taken from the Chajju Bagh area. Complete normal movement of traffic was seen in the area. The exact cause of his death can only be ascertained after the post-mortem report," the SSP said.

He said a total of 59 people were detained in connection with the BJP's protest march but all of them were later released.

"The district administration observed complete transparency while conducting post-mortem examination of the deceased. The inquest was done by a magistrate and autopsy conducted by a medical board under videography," the SSP said.

Reacting to the police's claim, BJP state president Samrat Choudhary said, "Vijay Kumar Singh was very much present at the protest site and he died due to police brutality."

Immediately after the incident, several senior BJP leaders demanded the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, alleging that the police acted as per the directions of the CMO.

The district administration, however, maintained that "mild" force was used to disperse the BJP activists when they tried to breach the barricades put up at Dak Bungalow crossing and proceed towards "a prohibited area which houses many VIP installations, including offices of various political parties, the Patna High Court and Raj Bhavan".

Some policemen alleged that the protestors threw red chilli powder on them during the protest.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Vijay Kumar Sinha, said the BJP will conduct another march to the Raj Bhavan on Friday in protest against the death of the party leader.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com