At least one person was killed and over 25 others left injured in a clash between police and a crowd during the Durga idols immersion ceremony in Bihar’s Munger town on the intervening night of 26 and 27 October.
The deceased was later identified as 18-year-old Anurag Kumar Poddar. He was reportedly shot in the head. Among the injured were 20 policemen.
Meanwhile, social media users have started uploading shocking visuals of last night’s situation in Munger. Hashtags like #MungerDanga, #ShameonMungerPolice, and #BocyottMungerElection began to trend on Twitter.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha has, in the meantime, described the Munger clashes as “unfortunate”. While adding that the incident could have prevented, Sinha sought action in this regard at the earliest.
As per reports, violence erupted following an argument between the people who were participating in the ceremony involving immersion of Durga idols and Kotwali police personnel. In a bid to calm the situation, police reportedly used tear gas shells. However, people have accused the police of firing bullets. In their defence, police alleged that some of the revellers used firearms during the clashes.
Media has mentioned Munger Superintendent of Police Lipi Singh as saying: “The mob pelted stones and opened fire on police which led to the death of one person and injured 27 people including 20 policemen.” Notably, the Twitterati are demanding the sacking of Lipi Singh.
#MungerDanga: What happened in Bihar town?
As per Durga Idol Immersion committee member Prakash Bhagat, out of over 53 Durga idols installed in Munger, revellers took 15 idols for immersion in the Ganga at Deendayal Chowk.
Usually, the idols are immersed in water bodies after three days of Vijayadashami. However, in the wake of the first phase of the Bihar Assembly Elections on 28 October, the administration asked people to immerse the idols by 5 am on 27 October.
Paying heed to the administration’s order, Durga puja organisers reportedly carried out a procession close to midnight. Loud music was being played while people headed for the immersion.
At around 11:50 am, police officials allegedly thrashed four persons, who were reportedly carrying idols. This led to a furore with people seeking action against the policemen. Sooner, the mob resorted to stone-pelting. In order to control the situation, police resorted to lathi-charge. However, since the situation could not be watered down with lathi-charge, police resorted to the firing of tear gas shells.
The situation could finally come under control by 1 am. According to the Munger SP, police found three firearms, live cartridges and empty bullets from the place where the clashes occurred.
Meanwhile, a huge security force was stationed in Munger on 27 October.