Accepting the one-man judicial probe panel’s indictment of M Saravanan, the then DM of Bihar’s Araria district in the police firing incident in Forbesganj, the state government today said it will seek explanation from Saravanan before any action is initiated against him.
Four persons were killed in the firing five years ago.
“The state government accepts opinion of the judicial panel that Saravanan did not accept the dispute (over road in Bhajanpur village) seriously nor take any personal interest in resolution of the dispute,” the government said in an Action Taken Report (ATR) on the Justice (Retd) Madhavendra Sharan- headed judicial commission report.
“The General Administration Department (GAD) has been directed to seek explanation from Saravanan and taken proper action against him,” it said in the ATR.
The panel, in its report submitted to the government last year and tabled in the Assembly today, had indicted the then Araria District Magistrate for not taking any personal interest in resolving the dispute between the village and the owners of M S Auro Sunderam by calling a meeting and discussing the problem.
“Being the head of district administration, he did not care to solve the road dispute at his level, rather he endorsed the correspondence between BIADA to SDO, Forbesganj who was a young officer with very little administrative experience of solving such sensitive problems… It also appears that he put pressure upon the SDO for getting the boundary wall constructed without personally taking step for solving the dispute between the parties,” the panel said.
Saravanan, an IAS officer of 2002 batch, is at present posted on central deputation and is the Private Secretary to the Union Communications and Information Technology Minister.
The judicial panel gave a clean chit to the then Araria district’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Garima Mallick, saying she tried to control the situation.
The panel also defended the police firing on the
protesters saying in light of the facts and circumstances discussed, the report finds that the firing made by the police was necessary to ensure safety of administrative/police officials, police personnel and others and also to prevent damage of public property.
Four persons, including a pregnant woman and an infant boy, were killed in police firing on the protesters in Bhajanpur village under Forbesganj police station area on June 3, 2011 over construction of a boundary wall by Auro Sundaram International Private Limit on its plot alloted by BIADA for setting up an industrial unit.
The proposed boundary wall blocked road nos. 3 and 6 in Bhajanpur village and the villagers were up in arms demanding the demolition of wall and attacked a police team which went there to bring the situation under control.
Following firing on them, the cops retaliated in which four persons were killed.
The incident had prompted Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and other senior politicians of different hues to visit the place and demand judicial probe and compensation to the aggrieved families.