Patna, Feb. 27: Police have decided to get tough against the agitators, who indulged in vandalism at the official residence of Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary during the RJD’s procession on Tuesday.
The enraged supporters of the RJD had taken out a march to the Assembly after the party’s “split drama”. An FIR was lodged against 200 unidentified people with the Secretariat police station on the statement of a magistrate, Chandra Kishore.
The complaint was registered on the instruction of inspector-general, Patna zone, Sushil M. Khopde. The mob proceeding towards the Assembly had pelted stones at Chaudhary’s residence on 2 Deshratna Marg.
Khopde said: “Instructions have been issued to police officers to identify the culprits with the help of video footage of the procession. They would be booked for indulging in vandalism and trespassing in the prohibited area. Once the identity of the accused is ascertained, we would initiate action against them.”
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said the activities of the protesters had been captured on video cameras. Police personnel were deployed for the purpose. “The video footage would be used as evidence to corroborate the charges against the accused,” he told The Telegraph.
The SSP said mobile cameras have been provided to all the police stations to record the processions and initiate action if people were found causing damage to government property.
“After the recent amendments in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the video footage is admissible as evidence in the court,” he said.
So far the stone pelting at the Speaker’s residence is concerned, a sub-inspector, Vinay Kumar Singh, has been appointed the investigating officer for the case.
IG Khopde would monitor the progress in the investigation to ensure that there are no lapses on the part of the investigating officer.
“The case is important because the attack was carried out on the residence of the Speaker, a constitutional post,” a police officer said.
The station house officer (SHO) of the Secretariat police station, Rajiv Singh, said the video clips would help the police get the accused prosecuted during trial.
“The photographs would show their presence on the spot and also their actions. We have enough evidence to get the accused prosecuted in the court,” he added.
The protesters have been booked under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 353 (prevent public servant from discharging his official duty), 427 (causing damage to property), 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) and 447 (criminal trespass) of the Indian Penal Code.
If found guilty, the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for six months, or fine or both.
However, the most adverse impact of the conviction is that the convicts are deprived of civil rights and many facilities enjoyed for being bonafide citizens such as exercising their franchise (right to vote), issuance of driving licence, passport, power connections etc.
The institution of the case assumes significance in the wake of the Speaker’s apprehension that the motive of the attackers was to kill him.
Chaudhary told reporters on Wednesday that the RJD leaders and the supporters attacked his residence on Tuesday to kill him. “It was not an attack on the Assembly Speaker but on Uday Narayan Chaudhary, who comes from a Mahadalit family,” he said.
On the Speaker’s allegations, Khopde said: “The accusations are being verified. It would not be proper to elaborate further at this point of time as the investigation is still going on.”