Bihar: 1 killed, several injured in firing during Durga procession in Munger

Right Wing social media have begun comparing this tragic incident with the attacks on 'sadhus' in Palghar, and have called for the resignation of Munger SP Lipi Singh


The first phase of the Bihar Assembly election begins on Wednesday. However a shadow may loom large over the voters’ mood in the wake of the firing during a Durga idol immersion procession in Munger on Monday night. By Tuesday evening, Munger was trending on social media and the horrific photo of the young man who was shot in the head was shared thousands of times. It is reported that 27 others were also injured in the violence that flared up during the procession. 

Right-wing aligned social media users have begun comparing this tragic incident with the attacks on ‘sadhus’ in Palghar, and have called for the resignation of Munger’s superintendent of police Lipi Singh, who they accuse as the one who ‘gave the order to fire’. According to a news report in The Hindustan Times, while traditionally in the area, the Durga idols are immersed after three days of Vijayadashami, this time the administration insisted on the immersion to be done by 5 AM on Tuesday in view of the upcoming elections.

The victim, identified as 18-year-old Anurag Kumar, was killed in the firing and 27 people including 20 policemen were injured. The clash between the police and a mob turned violent on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, said news reports. According to eyewitness accounts reported by the media “police opened fire to control the violence that followed an argument between revellers participating in immersion of Durga idols and Kotwali police personnel”. The police are reported to have initially used tear gas shells but that proved ineffective. According to the police however, it was someone from the crowd of revelers who fired. 

“The mob pelted stones and opened fire on police which led to the death of one person and injured 27 people including 20 policemen,” Munger’s superintendent of police Lipi Singh was quoted by the media. 


However, the social media RW voices have begun chanting for her resignation as well. They have connected Lipi Singh to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, via her father Ramchandra Prasad Singh. As profiled in NewsD news portal, “fondly known as RCP” he is the closest confidant of the CM. “From making poll strategies for JD-U to controlling the bureaucracy in the state, formulating government policies and even proper implementation, it all comes as RCP’s responsibility,” stated the former bureaucrats profile. Singh is now a JD-(U)’s  Rajya Sabha member, who had taken voluntary retirement from the administrative services to join Nitish Kumar. 

His daughter Lipi Singh, SP Munger, is now being attacked after she gave this statement: “ During Durga puja immersion, some anti-social elements restored to stone pelting which injured 20 policemen after this someone from the crowd fired leading to one death. Situation under control.”


This has set the entire RW online army on her, calling her ‘Lipi Dyer’ holding her responsible for what they alleged is a ‘Hindu massacre’ and demanding that she be sacked, and even arrested. According to news reports Munger’s district magistrate Rajesh Meena and superintendent of police Lipi Singh had rushed to the spot and remained at the site of the clash till 3 AM until the situation was brought under control.

“The police took the help of public representatives to facilitate the immersion,” Meena was quoted by HT, adding that people must  adhere to prohibitory orders and inform the police control room about any troublemakers. “We are seeking video footage from local residents,” said Meena. Singh said the police recovered three firearms, live cartridges and empty bullets from the scene of the clash. However, that does not matter to the social media RW influencers, who are calling the state police “anti-Hindu”. Hints are being dropped that the voting is yet to happen and this incident could influence the election outcome.





HT reported the background of the incident quoting Prakash Bhagat, a member of Durga Idol Immersion committee who confirmed that the administration insisted on the immersion to be over by 5 AM Tuesday in view of the first phase of the Assembly election on Wednesday. The news report added that organisers took out a procession allegedly with loud music being played. Around 11.50 PM when police officials allegedly beat four persons who were carrying idols on their shoulders and this sparked a face off, the organisers demanded action against the policemen. The mob reportedly started pelting stones on the police which retaliated with a lathi charge. Eyewitnesses said the police also used tear gas shells and fired 15 rounds in the air to disperse the violent mob, reported HT. 

At least 20 policemen including SHOs of Sangarmpur, Kotwali, Kasim Bazar, Basudeopur police stations were injured in the clashes which continued till 1 AM stated news reports, adding that personnel from the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and paramilitary forces were also deployed in affected areas and the situation in Munger town and surrounding areas continued to be tense on Tuesday.

There has been no official comment from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar yet, he is busy addressing election rallies. However, this incident does threaten to add to his electoral concerns, as his popularity  is said to be on a decline, and he is more dependent on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) political weight to attract votes this time. If the Munger issue is picked up by Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) or the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) the vote bank may further get divided.


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