| Police take Kedar Pandey in custody after his self-immolation attempt in front of the district magistrate’s office in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
A middle-aged man tried to immolate himself in front of the Patna district magistrate’s office on Tuesday in protest against the alleged apathetic attitude of police in investigating the kidnap and murder of his nephew.
The incident occurred around 12.30pm. The man, Kedar Pandey, is a resident of Bilap village under the jurisdiction of Bihta police station.
Nilesh, 8, the son of Kedar’s elder brother Shiv Kumar Pandey, was kidnapped on February 12. The police found his body from a well in the village five days later.
“Pandey reached the office of the district magistrate on Tuesday morning and poured kerosene on his body. Policemen deployed as security at the DM’s office caught him,” Raj Bindu Prasad, the station house officer of the Gandhi Maidan police station, said.
Later, Pandey told journalists that he had been forced to take the step, as the police were not initiating any action against the people who allegedly killed his nephew.
“We suspect that four persons are involved. My elder brother owns a piece of land that these people wanted to usurp. When he did not agree to give up his land, they kidnapped his son,” he said.
“Till now, the police have nabbed one person. The others are roaming scot-free. We have run from pillar to post but the cops have not helped us.”
Police claimed that they were investigating the case.
An officer at the Bihta police station said: “One person, Sushil Kumar, has been arrested and sent to jail. We have evidence against him. We are also watching the activities of the other suspects but we cannot arrest anyone without evidence.
“Shiv Kumar sent us an application claiming that he would immolate himself. We arrested him on Monday as a preventive step. But his brother went ahead with his plan. We are doing our job. Creating extra pressure will not speed up the investigation.”
Pandey was later released after signing a bond that he will not try to kill himself.