The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Officer in net over encounter killings

Patna, Jan. 1: Shamse Alam, the officer-in-charge of the Shastrinagar police station who was suspended in connection with the killings of three youths in an alleged fake encounter here, was arrested today.

Director-general of Bihar police R.R. Prasad said CID sleuths have kept him at an undisclosed place for security reasons.

The three students of Patna’s Asiana area had been shot dead on December 28 allegedly by officers from the Shastrinagar police station, who raided the area following a tip-off by some shopowners that there was a dacoity in the local market. Following a quarrel, the students were reportedly thrashed by the shopowners who misled the police.

Opposition parties have demanded the dismissal of the Rabri Devi government “by calling a joint session of Parliament”.

Inspired by yesterday’s bandh, the state NDA unit has called another on January 3. Besides, former Union health minister C.P. Thakur and Bihar Opposition leader Sushil Modi are on an indefinite dharna in Patna.

“The bandh has been called to awaken the Congress, a coalition partner in Bihar, to police excesses in the state. It also seeks to put pressure on the government for a fair probe into the encounter, which reflected the depths to which the law and order condition of the state have fallen,” said Thakur.

RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav, however, claimed: “There is no issue on hand for the Opposition to renew agitation. The police officer responsible for the alleged murder has been arrested and a murder case registered. A CID probe is on. The government is not here to shield the policemen. The NDA leaders who are unemployed now after the Gujarat poll want to turn Patna into another Godhra by provoking more youth unrest and unleashing violence.”

Laloo Prasad’s arch rival, Ram Vilas Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party, flew down today and had visited the victims’ families. Expressing sympathy for the families, Paswan demanded a CBI probe and a joint parliamentary session to dismiss the state government. He has also threatened to launch an indefinite protest.

“The state government has no moral right to hold on to power after the killing of innocent students by its police,” said Paswan.

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