| Relatives of the victims cry in Aurangabad on Friday. Picture by Suman |
Patna/Gaya, Oct. 18: Seven persons were named accused in an FIR lodged today in connection with yesterday’s landmine explosion in Aurangabad district, which killed seven persons, including a district board member’s husband.
Daudnagar sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Anwar Javed said an FIR was lodged with Khudwan police station on the basis of the statement of Sudha Devi, whose husband Sushil Pandey was killed in the explosion along with his six aides. While seven persons have been made named accused, 50 others are unidentified, he said.
The SDPO said raids were conducted at suspected hideouts of the accused, who absconded after the incident. “The police have detained six persons hailing from neighbouring Chandava village for interrogation. He added that their links, if any, with Maoists operating in the area were being verified.
Additional director general (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said in Patna that two of the seven named accused, Sunil Singh and Mangal Ram, had criminal antecedents. Senior police officers, including additional director-general (law and order) S.K. Bhardwaj, inspector-general (Patna zone) S.M. Khopde and deputy inspector-general (Magadh range) B.S. Meena, were camping at Aurangabad to monitor the combing operations, he added.
Upendra Kumar Sharma, an IPS officer of the 2008 batch, assumed charge as the new superintendent of police of Aurangabad on Friday. Sharma was earlier posted as senior superintendent of police of Darbhanga. Sharma’s predecessor, Daljeet Singh, has been kept in waiting for posting at the state police headquarters.
The government decided to shift Daljeet (2007 batch) from Aurangabad to the state police headquarters after chief minister Nitish Kumar reviewed the law and order in the district late on Thursday night. Nitish had summoned principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani and director-general of police Abhayanand to take stock of the situation.
Sources said the police and the administrative officials had to face the wrath of local residents when the former rushed to the spot to remove the victims’ bodies.
The police had to open fire in the air to disperse the violent mob, which thrashed a senior officer deputed at Obra block office.
The post-mortem was conducted on the spot. The residents were so agitated that they didn’t allow the officials to remove the bodies.