New Delhi (10 October): The fight for justice for the victims of gruesome police killings in Forbesganj area of Araria district got a boost today when the Supreme Court entertained a petition on the matter and issued a notice to Bihar government. The apex court has sought Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government’s stand on a plea for a CBI probe into the June 3 police firing.
Four people including an infant and a pregnant woman were killed by the police in Bhajanpur village when the villagers were protesting against blockade of their old road by an upcoming factory.
A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices R M Lodha and J S Khehar issued notice to the state government, seeking its response to the plea for CBI probe into the incident.
The Delhi-based Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) had filed the Writ Petition (Criminal) in the Supreme Court alleging that the state government was protecting the police officials who had resorted to the firing at unarmed villagers. The apex court issued the notice on the first hearing of the case No. 195/2011 on Monday (10th Oct. 2011).
Even four months after the killings, not a single police officer has been transferred, leave alone suspension. While within days of similar police firings in Bharatpur of Rajasthan and Rudrapur of Uttarakhand (in both cases victims were from the minority community) all top officers including DM and SP were either removed or suspended.
Bihar government, however, two months back set up a judicial commission to probe the incident. The opposition has been demanding a CBI probe in the case.
Syed Akhlaq Ahmed, Coordinator, Association for Protection of Civil Rights expressed happiness over the SC notice. He said the fight will continue until the victims get justice and the culprits punishment.
In the plea before the apex court, APCR has also sought direction to the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family members of each of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh each to those injured in the police firing.
The state government has not announced any compensation to the victims except for the family of six-month old infant Sahil Ansari whose family has been given Rs 3 lakh. Adv Colin Gonsalves appeared as counsel for the petitioner.
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