Residents of Sahajanand Nagar demonstrated in front of Bariatu police station on Thursday, blaming the men in uniform for the death of Shrikant Bhardwaj who was mercilessly beaten up by a mob for rescuing a mother of two from eve-teasers on Tuesday.
The protesters, mostly women, sought punitive action against police, saying timely intervention could have prevented the fatal incident that took place near RIMS. Although Bariatu police station is barely a kilometre away, the men took more than 40 minutes to reach the spot. By that time, 37-year-old Bhardwaj, a medical representative and resident of Sahajanand Nagar, had been bludgeoned.
The demonstrators were also angry that no arrest had been made yet even though police claimed that one person had been nabbed.
“As soon as a mob 100 youths reached Sahajanand Nagar, police was informed. But they took more than 30 minutes to arrive at the spot, which could be reached in barely five minutes. If police had reached the spot on time, Bhardwaj would have been alive today,” complained local resident Leelawati Devi, demanding suspension of the officer in charge.
A police constable tried to pacify the mob and was heard saying that the patrol party found it tough to reach Sahajanand Nagar given its location. “Sahajanand Nagar is a new colony. Though it is situated behind the nurses’ hostel, a patrol team cannot reach there immediately as the RIMS boundary wall comes in the way. Taking an alternative route is time-consuming, especially when there is no one to guide the policemen,” he said.
A section of the residents decided to take up the matter with RIMS authorities and went to the hospital to speak to director Tulsi Mahto. They requested the director to create a passageway through the RIMS premises to avoid recurrence of such incidents. Mahto lent a patient ear to the group but did not make any promise.
Meanwhile, police claimed that they had arrested a youth in connection with the murder. SP (city) Vipul Shukla said: “The identity of the youth will be disclosed only after we interrogate him and establish his role in the killing.”
Bariatu OC Faguni Paswan said others would be nabbed soon.