The Hazaribagh police on Tuesday arrested Congress MLA from Barkagaon, Nirmala Devi, in connection with the mob attack and subsequent police firing that had left four persons dead on October 1. The incident had occurred in Barkagaon police station area of Hazaribagh district when the police were taking Nirmala Devi, who was arrested while leading a protest against NTPC’s coal mining project in the area, to Hazaribagh.
Hazaribagh Range DIG Upendra Prasad said, “The Congress MLA was arrested from a place in Hazaribagh this evening. She was hiding in the house of an acquaintance. A warrant had already been issued against her.”
Earlier, on Monday, the police had got a warrant issued against Nirmala Devi, who remained in hiding. However, she was continuing to give statements in the media that she was not in hiding and was seeking legal recourse.
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Along with Nirmala Devi, her husband and Congress leader Yogendra Saw was arrested on October 4 in the same case. Both have been accused of being involved in criminal conspiracy to disturb the peace while staging ‘kafan satygrah’ since September 16 near the entrance of the coal mining site in Chirudih village, nearly 7 km from Barkagaon.
Meanwhile, the police have also arrested Saw’s son, Ankit, in an extortion case registered against him. A letter purportedly written by Saw seeking work for his son in partnership with the NTPC’s mining-developer-operator was earlier circulated by the ruling party in a bid to prove that the protest was orchestrated in order to pressurise the establishment into giving work to Saw’son. However, Ankit had denied the charge.
On October 1, a police team was escorting Nirmala Devi, after arresting her at Chirudih, was returning to Hazaribagh when a mob descended on the police team at Dadi Kala village. The mob abducted an Additional SP and the Circle Officer and assaulted them, following which the police opened fire. Four persons, including three young students, were killed.