Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Sept. 27: Director general of police (DGP) G.S. Rath today asked East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police (SSP) Akhilesh Jha to probe a incident at Mosabani yesterday where CRPF personnel ran amok after residents tried to attack their camp, following rumours that a local girl had been molested, even as police detained two jawans for interrogation.
The DGP, however, declined to comment on the merit of the case. “Let the SSP investigate,” he said.
Jha, on his part, said the picture was not clear. “We are probing the matter and trying to verify the claims of both parties,” he added.
Agitated residents of the once-booming copper town turned on the security personnel yesterday after the girl, a resident of Pathargora village, accused two jawans of taking nude photographs of her with a cell-phone. The jawans, in turn, claimed they had found the girl in a compromising position with a boy at Banalopa, about 500m away from the camp, and had scolded the duo before driving them away.
The girl, in an FIR lodged last night with the Mosabani police, alleged she was with a friend when two CRPF personnel came by. They drove her friend away before stripping her and taking her photograph on their cell-phone.
According to a Mosabani police officer, they are yet to get any witness to verify the claims and counter claims.
CRPF IG (Jharkhand sector) M.V. Rao told the Telegraph that a commandant was probing the incident and the force would not hesitate to take action if a jawan was found guilty.
Rao, a Jharkhand cadre IPS officer, who joined the CRPF recently, said while what meets the eye might not be true, the force was conducting the probe with an open mind.
According to sources, this is not the first time that residents have violently opposed the CRPF. In 2010 too, villagers had agitated against the paramilitary force.
“A few incidents of eve teasing by CRPF men have occurred earlier also, but they had been hushed up by striking a compromise. This time, it took a violent turn,” said an officer at Mosabani police station, 45km from Jamshedpur.
A senior police officer, who did not wish to be identified, said Mosabani was now a ghost town.
“A large number of ex-employees of HCL mines continue to occupy company quarters and some run illicit liquor businesses from their premises,” he said, adding that such elements could be behind yesterday’s violence.
The cluster of mines, including Rakha, Surda, Kendadih and Sidheshwar-Chapri operated by HCL were closed down 10 years ago after copper rates took a nosedive in the international market. At present, only Surda mines is operational.
“These former employees felt cheated when the state government handed over several buildings to paramilitary forces to set up battalion headquarters of CRPF, IRB and SAP,” the officer pointed out.
Meanwhile, Jha ruled out any Maoist involvement, adding that the presence of forces had actually supported the local economy of the area, known as a Maoist stronghold.