Glare on Akela after cop FIR

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  • Published 6.04.12

Ranchi, April 5: Barhi legislator Umashankar Akela has come under the scanner of police investigation after an assistant sub-inspector, who was suspended following protests by the leader alleging him of misbehaviour, lodged a counter FIR last week.

The BJP leader, along with Chatra legislator Janardan Paswan, had rallied support from both the treasury bench and the Opposition in the Assembly on March 29 to protest against ASI Louis Minz, compelling chief minister Arjun Munda to order his suspension.

The duo had complained that Minz had manhandled them outside the HEC gate following an altercation between the politicians and policemen on duty.

The confrontation took place when the MLAs insisted that the gate be opened for them. Akela and Paswan had said that they wanted to join activists of the JP (Jayaprakash Narayan) movement, who were sitting on a dharna led by JVM leader Gautam Sagar Rana, at Birsa Chowk across the gate.

The protest by the legislators had also temporarily stalled the House when the Assembly was in session.

The two MLAs lodged an FIR against Minz and another ASI, on March 29 itself. Both police officers were suspended.

However, Minz responded by filing an FIR against Akela at Jagannathpur police station, two days later. The axed policeman countered that the BJP leader, instead, had manhandled him and also shouted caste slurs.

Minz, who belongs to the scheduled tribe category, also accused the MLA of levelling false charges against a police officer on the floor of the House, knowing well that he was only performing his duty under a magistrate deputed by the district administration.

The FIR was lodged under Sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC, besides the ST/SC (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Police began a probe earlier this week and today examined video footage of the HEC gate and questioned eyewitnesses.

Policemen on duty at the HEC gate and a few trade union leaders, who were present, have also been questioned earlier.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Saket Kumar Singh told The Telegraph: “Very soon, we will also interrogate the MLAs concerned. If required, we may also pray for an warrant from the court or knock on the doors of the Assembly Speaker.”

The SSP, however, refused comment on whether they found any evidence against Akela, arguing that the matter was under investigation and senior officers had been told to look into it. “I have asked the city police superintendent to monitor the case and find out whether the allegations levelled against the MLA are justified or not.”