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Network error trips security

Patna, Oct. 13: Intelligence and administrative network seem to have fallen like proverbial nine-pins in certain parts of the state — be it in Madhubani or Khagaria.

In the Madhubani episode, the district administration handed over the body of Prashant, a Class X student of Indian Public School, to his parents only after the town and neighbouring areas burnt for more than 48 hours.

The entire civil and police setup, including the district magistrate and the superintendent of police, were shifted out in a chief ministerial action. Even inspector-general of police R.K. Mishra was not spared.

District magistrate Lokesh Kumar Singh and superintendent of police Ranjeet Mishra, who assumed offices today, reviewed the law and order situation in the district. Singh and Mishra were accompanied by Jitendra Singh Gangwar, the new inspector-general of police (Darbhanga zone).

The BJP MLA from Benipatti, Vinod Narayan Jha, blamed police and the district administration for the police firing that claimed the life of a student. “Had the police handed over the body, which was identified by the relatives as that of Prashant, the situation would not have taken such a turn,” Jha said.

Abdul Bari Siddiqui, the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, termed the state government’s announcement for a judicial probe into the police firing as an “eye-wash”. A five-member RJD delegation visited Patna Medical College and Hospital and inquired about Rohit Kumar Mandal and Raja Yadav, who suffered injuries in yesterday’s police firing.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Sushil Kumar Modi, have in a joint statement appealed to the people to maintain peace, restraint and not to pay heed to rumours. “The government has ordered a judicial probe and the district magistrate, superintendent of police and the district programme officer have been shifted. The government has also decided to recommend a CBI probe into the abduction of the girl and other related matters,” they said.

In the Khagaria incident, the security arrangement for Nitish’s Adhikar Yatra was so fragile that Ranvir Yadav, husband of a ruling party MLA Poonam Devi, snatched a carbine from a police man and allegedly opened fire in the air to disperse a rioting mob.

The role of Yadav, who was released after serving sentence only recently, invited criticism from opposition leaders, who demanded institution of an FIR against Yadav.