Two minors in Bihar face extortion charge

By Imran Khan, IANS,

Patna : Fifteen days after a case was filed against two minors for extortion in Bihar, senior police officials have ordered a probe into the matter.

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Husnabaaz, 5, and his elder brother Shahbaaz, 12, were booked by police Dec 1 in Purnia district, about 350 km from here, on charges of trying to extort money from land broker, Pankaj Kumar Verma.

In the complaint lodged by Verma, he alleged that the two boys had threatened him with dire consequences if he failed to pay the money.

“How can police register a case against two minor boys without verifying the facts,” the boys’ father Mohammad Abidin said.

Abidin approached Purnia superintendent of police B.S. Meena, who assured him action would be taken against police officials concerned if they were found guilty of falsely implicating his sons.

Meena told IANS over telephone Monday that he had asked the DSP (rural) Manik Chandra Choudhary to conduct an inquiry into the case and submit his report within two to three days.

This is not the first such case in Bihar and in the last few years, police have charged a number of minors in criminal cases including assault, molestation and theft.

A couple of years ago, police booked a three-month-old boy on charges of looting a bus.

Praveen Kumar of Nehalpur village in Muzzafarpur district was named one of the accused in the case registered at the Meenapur police station of the district. However, police withdrew his name later.

Last year a Patna court was shocked to hear the case of Raj Kumar, 5, charged for not only assaulting a woman but also attempting to molest her. The court quashed the charges against him.

Police in Sasaram in Rohtas district booked a five-year-old boy on charges of picking pockets. When it was found that the boy was not a pickpocket, the court ordered the police official responsible for his custody to pay him compensation and also apologise to him.

Earlier, Rani Pandey, 6, was charged by the Bhojpur district police for attacking them and helping her father escape from police custody.