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MLA, inspector in war of words

Chapra, Aug. 16: Raju Singh, a ruling party MLA, had never imagined he could be “abused” by a sub-inspector in public. So it took him a while to overcome the shock. But once he was composed, what ensued was an ugly scene, politician and policeman hurling abuses and threats at each other.

Why and how the dispute began is yet to be ascertained, but in an era of “good governance”, a law-enforcing personnel and a lawmaker created a scene can put even the worst hooligans to shame.

The street fight took place near the premises of Hariharnath temple in Saran district.

Raju Singh, who represents Sahebganj constituency in Muzaffarpur district, was on his way to offer prayers at the Hariharnath temple.

Sonpur police station in-charge, sub-inspector B.K. Pandey, tried to stop him outside the temple premises, following which a scuffle ensued.

MLA Singh alleged that the sub-inspector abused him and his supporters. The police officer even pointed his pistol at them and threatened them with dire consequences, alleged the MLA.

Raju Singh told The Telegraph over phone that when he revealed his identity, the sub-inspector further abused him, saying he had disciplined former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin while posted in Siwan and he, Raju Singh, was a just small fry.

The MLA said he had informed the zonal inspector- general of police, Muzaffarpur, and the Saran superintendent of police, under whose jurisdiction Sonpur falls. Both the officers have assured to take appropriate action against the erring sub-inspector, he said.

When contacted, sub-inspector Pandey denied the allegations, saying officers of his rank salute public representatives, not abuse them.

He said that no prior information of arrival of the MLA had been given to him and his vehicle was moving towards a prohibited area. There was a rush at the temple on the occasion of Somwari and he was only performing his duty of managing the crowd, said sub-inspector Pandey.

He, however, alleged that the MLA and his supporters threatened to strip him of his uniform and pulled gun at him.

“Naturally, to protect myself, I too had to take out my gun,” he said.

The high voltage drama ended only after a deputy superintendent of police-rank arrived at the scene and controlled the situation.

Superintendent of police A. K. Satyarthi said that he had received a complaint from the MLA and had asked the deputy superintendent of police to inquire into the matter. Appropriate action would be taken only after the inquiry report is submitted, he said.

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