As many as 175 police constables, many of them women, were dismissed from service on Sunday for indulging in large-scale vandalism and violence, a top police official said. Following the death of a female colleague Savita Pathak (22) last Friday, trainee police constables went on the rampage attacking top police officials in Patna.
Patna Zone Inspector General of Police (IGP), Nayyar Hasnain Khan said the dismissed constables included 167 trainees, while others were in service for some time. Khan, who had been entrusted with the investigation and taking departmental action against those indulging in the indiscipline, said 23 others posted at the Police Line were suspended.
“Nearly half of the dismissed trainee constables are women. The suspended personnel include a head constable and two others who had the responsibility of assigning duties to trainees,” the IGP Khan said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manu Maharaj said the policemen were dismissed and suspended after getting Khan’s approval.
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The police authorities had said the death appeared to have been caused by dengue. However, the hospital later clarified that the dengue test had not been conducted on her, but she was suffering from some form of viral infection.
Blaming the seniors for putting Pathak on duty despite ill health, trainee constables went on a rampage, vandalising furniture in the Police Line and overturning vehicles of officials on the streets. It took hours to bring the situation under control with top officials supervising the operations in full riot gear.
Khan said, “During an investigation, we found that Pathak was indeed ill and she had been on medical leave in October for three days. In such a situation, she should not have been asked to report to duty.”
The IGP added that he had also recommended action against the medical officer of the Police Hospital for his failure to take proper stock of the deceased constable’s health and give appropriate advice and treatment, which might have saved her life.
Four FIRs have been lodged in connection with the incident.
“We suspect that the agitators were instigated by some disgruntled personnel, against whom the officer might have taken action in the past,” the IGP said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sought a detailed report on the incident from Director General of Police (DGP) K S Dwivedi.