Arrah (Bihar), Aug 21: Sixteen persons, including a local RJD activist, have been arrested and eight policemen suspended after a woman was assaulted and paraded naked in the state's Bhojpur district by a mob on suspicion of her involvement in the alleged murder of a man, officials said today.
Violence had rocked the main market area of Bihiya block of the district, about 60 km from the state capital, after the body of 19-year-old Vimalesh Sah, who had gone missing on Sunday, was found adjacent to a railway track yesterday morning, Bhojpur Superintendent of Police Avakash Kumar said.
Residents of Sah's native village Damodarpur had rushed to the spot upon hearing the news and some of them suspected that those living in a red light area nearby could have strangled the youth to death, police said.
The villagers set ablaze a number of shops in the market area and assaulted many local residents, police said. As the mob frenzy continued, one of them dragged the woman out on street, ripped off her clothes and paraded her naked while kicking and slapping her and hurling abuses, the SP said.
He said those arrested include a local RJD activist Kaushal Kishore Yadav, who was allegedly leading the mob. Those placed under suspension are the SHO of Bihiya police station and the inspector-in-charge of GRP police station, the SP said.
The frenzied mob had also hurled stones at a train that was passing through the area before a police team arrived and quelled the violence. The SP said FIRs have been lodged at the Bihiya police station in connection with Sah's murder, the arson and vandalism by the mob and outraging of the women's modesty.
The incident also triggered sharp reactions from the opposition parties with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar alleging lawlessness in the state. He also demanded immediate measures to improve law and order situation in the state and to ensure safety and security of women.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) ally Hindustani Awam Morcha's chief and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also alleged law and order has collapsed in Bihar and said the state deserved President's Rule.
Ruling party Janata Dal (United) MLC and spokesman Neeraj Kumar hit back by alleging involvement of RJD leaders in a number of heinous incidents in the recent past, including the one at Bihiya.