Bitan Kumar (name changed), a Class VII student of a government middle school in Aurangabad, was booked on Saturday for alleged Maoist links.
He was accused of involvement in the violence by a mob at Madanpur, which led to the police firing that left two dead and seven others injured.
Bitan, 14, a resident of Judahi village in Aurangabad district, was among 16 people arrested by Madanpur police in connection with last week’s attack on the police at the block headquarters.
He was, on Sunday, produced before Aurangabad chief judicial magistrate Om Prakash Sinha who sent him to Gaya-based child reforms centre for two weeks.
Bitan had earlier told the court he was arrested while going to school on Saturday. “They intercepted me when I was about to reach school. They took my bicycle and dumped my bag containing books and other materials into a roadside drain. They didn’t listen to my plea that I had nothing to do with the incident,” he pleaded before the court.
Bitan has been booked under Section 17 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Section 27 of Arms Act. Bitan’s two other classmates, Pappu and Ritesh (names changed), aged about 15 years, have also been arrested on similar charges. While Ritesh told the court he was taken into custody from a motor garage, Pappu was apprehended while going to school on his bicycle.
Both Pappu and Ritesh, residents of Aajan village, were forwarded to an Aurangabad-based child reforms centre on the directive of the court, which assured it would look into their complaints. Lalbabu Paswan, Pramod Kumar, Awadh Kumar Mehta, Monj Kumar, Mithun Kumar, Ragib Hussain and Jagannath Mehta are others arrested in the case.
Madanpur police station house officer (SHO) S.A. Hussain claimed the rebels used the three minors as conduits to carry out the attack on the police and other government officials on July 19.
“The Maoists used the minors and women as shield to accomplish their task. Their motive was to attack the police station and snatch weapons from the security personnel,” Hussain said.
Hussain is also the complainant in the case. “The protest at Madanpur block headquarters was orchestrated by the Maoists. Some of them have already been identified and action initiated against them,” Aurangabad superintendent of police (SP) Upendra Kumar Sharma said. He, however, feigned ignorance about the arrest of minors in the case.
In a twist to the police firing case, a section of inmates at the Aurangabad divisional jail has decided to launch an agitation inside the prison from July 28 to August 1.
The prison authorities have been informed about the agitation through a letter, which bore the signatures of 223 prisoners lodged in the jail.
The letter, copies of which have been sent to the President, Prime Minister, chief minister and inspector-g (prisons and correctional services), demanded institution of a murder case against the security personnel responsible for the police firing.