Katihar firing incident: The issue of police action and firing on protesters agitating against irregular power supply in Katihar, Bihar, has sparked intense debate and public outrage. So far, two people have lost their lives in the incident, with eyewitnesses claiming that both were killed on the spot. Bihar’s BJP president, Samrat Chaudhary, has demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter, as tensions escalate in the district.
Protests and Police Response
इस सम्बन्ध में प्राथमिकी अंकित कर यथोचित अग्रतर विधि सम्मत कार्रवाई की जा रही है। स्थिति नियंत्रण में है।— Katihar Police (@SpKatihar) July 27, 2023
आम जनता से अपील है कि किसी भी प्रकार के अफवाहों पर नहीं ध्यान दें,कानून को हाथ में नहीं लें तथा शान्ति बनाये रखने में पुलिस प्रशासन का सहयोग करें@bihar_police#Katiharpolice
On July 26, thousands of people from the region gathered at the Barsoi sub-division headquarters in Katihar district to voice their dissatisfaction with the irregular power supply. As the crowd grew increasingly agitated, they resorted to vandalizing the electricity office. In response to the escalating violence and stone-pelting by the protesters, the police allegedly opened fire.
According to Katihar District Superintendent of Police, Jitendra Kumar, the police resorted to firing in self-defense as the situation spiraled out of control. The protesters not only vandalized the electricity office but also took the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) and Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) hostage, leading to further tensions and chaos.
Victims of Police Firing
During the police action, two individuals tragically lost their lives. 22-year-old Khurshid and Sonu Bhagat were among those who succumbed to the bullets. Another protester, 32-year-old Niyaz, was injured and is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital. The deaths of Khurshid and Sonu have been confirmed by the police.
Grieving Families Demand Justice
The grieving families of the deceased have been left shattered by the untimely loss of their loved ones. Sonu’s father, Manikchand, stated that his son died due to police firing. He recounted that Sonu and his younger brother, Udit Kumar, had rushed to save their elder brother Monu, who worked as a data operator in the electricity office. However, during their attempt to rescue Monu, the situation escalated, and police firing resulted in Sonu’s tragic demise.
Manikchand, seeking justice for his son, said, “We don’t want compensation; we want justice.” The bereaved family’s call for accountability has further fueled demands for a thorough investigation into the incident.
Assurance of Inquiry
In response to the growing unrest, Superintendent of Police Jitendra Kumar assured that a high-level inquiry would be conducted into the incident. He emphasized that appropriate action would be taken against those responsible for the unfortunate turn of events. An FIR has been registered in connection with the matter, and multiple police stations have set up camps in the area to monitor the situation and maintain control.
As investigations continue, the entire incident has raised questions about police response and the use of force during protests, prompting a larger discussion about the need for transparency, accountability, and peaceful resolution of grievances in such situations. The incident in Katihar remains a poignant reminder of the complexities surrounding the delicate balance between maintaining law and order and respecting the right to protest peacefully.