Bihar mother-daughter killed in staged encounter: police


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Patna : A woman and her daughter were killed by police in a staged shootout in Bihar's Sitamarhi district in July 2005 and the killing was passed off as an operation to combat Maoist rebels, an enquiry has found.

Tirhut Range DIG Gupteshwar Pandey in his supervision report has said the duo were killed in a 'fake encounter' in Ranjitpur village of Sitamarhi, about 150 km from here. A sensational story of an encounter between police and Maoist rebels was later cooked up.

Three police personnel have been suspended, Pandey said Monday.

The enquiry was held following a directive by the Patna High Court, which acted on a complaint filed by the relatives of the deceased.

At a time when the nation is witnessing an outcry over the killing of a Muslim man and his wife in a shootout in Gujarat, Pandey's report is a big embarrassment for the Bihar police.

This is the second case of fake police encounter. Early this month human rights body People's Watch has raised the issue of killing of three brothers in police shootout last year in a village in Bhojpur district.

Pandey's report also exposes the involvement of the then Sitamarhi district superintendent of police (SP) Kundan Krishnan, who is currently posted as senior SP in Patna.

Kundan Krishnan, in his report in 2005, had stated that the mother and her daughter were killed in an encounter between police and Maoists. Krishnan, who is considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had said that the killed woman's husband Bhola Sah and their son Rakesh were linked with Maoists and some rebels were staying in their house on the night of the incident.

But Pandey's report contradicts Krishnan's statements.

It says Bhola Sah had an old land dispute with fellow villager Vijendra Suman, who conspired against Bhola with the help of village guard Sonelal Paswan and the local police station.

Paswan wrongly informed the in-charge of Riga police station that Maoists were staying in Bhola's house. Krishnan ordered police raids on the basis of information provided by the local police station.

According to Pandey's report, a police team raided Bhola Sah's house and killed his wife and his daughter without any provocation.