The Election Commission today ordered the immediate removal of the Munger Superintendent of Police (SP) and District Magistrate (DM) over the death of one person in police firing during a Durga Puja event on Monday. It also ordered a probe into the violence that occurred two days ahead of the state assembly elections in the Bihar district.
"In the light of prevailing situation in Munger, ECI has ordered immediate removal of SP and DM Munger. ECI has also ordered inquiry into the entire incident by Mr. Asangba Chuba Ao, Divisional Commissioner, Magadh, which has to be completed within next seven days," the Bihar Chief Electoral Officer said today in a press release.
The officials removed from duty are Munger DM Rajesh Meena and SP Lipi Singh.
The orders come amidst violent protests against the police firing that led to the death of an 18-year-old man on Monday during the clashes at a Durga Puja immersion ceremony. Several others were also injured in the firing. A video showing a police baton-charge on a group carrying a Durga idol has been circulating online, sparking anger.
Protesters today indulged in arson at the Sub-Divisional Officer's and the SP's offices in Munger, setting several vehicles on fire and damaging public property.
Bihar is in the middle of a three-phase assembly election, the first of which took place on Wednesday. The next two phases are scheduled for November 3 and November 7.
The opposition has strongly criticised the incident, likening the district police chief with General Dyer of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919. Officer Lipi Singh is the daughter of JD(U) Rajya Sabha member RCP Singh.
The polling process in Munger district had been conducted peacefully with all COVID-19 guidelines in place, Deputy Inspector General of Police Manu Maharaj had said on Wednesday, according to ANI. The voter turnout in the district was, however, a mere 47.36 per cent voters, the lowest in phase 1.