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Home > News > Report

Bihar: Youth blinded for asking for flood relief

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | August 25, 2007 15:27 IST

In a shocking incident in flood-hit Bihar's Madhubani district,a youth was blinded by pouring acid into his eyes by the husband of panchayat head and his henchmen for demanding flood relief (foodgrains). The youth is currently undergoing treatment at the government hospital in Darbhanga.

Shiv Kumar, in his late 20s and father of two minor daughters belongs to Tamoria village in flood-affected Madhubani district. He was blinded by Kapileshwar, known as mukhiyaji, husband of of the village head and his henchmen for demanding flood relief.

Shiv Kumar who was admitted to the Darbhanga medical college and hospital on Thursday night after his condition deteriorated at the government hospital at Jhanjharpur in Madhubani district where he was first admitted, told on Saturday that mukhiya's husband and his goons first beaten him for demanding flood relief. "Kapileshwar and his goons told me how dare I demand relief. I was told I don't have a right to demand relief. I protested but it cost me my eyes. They forcibly poured acid into both my eyes," Shiv Kumar said.

Kapileshwar, husband of the mukhiya of Tomaria village panchayat, is known for political muscle. He was the mukhiya before his wife was elected village body head two years ago.

Shiv Kumar is still crying in pain and said he was blinded for no crime except demanding flood relief as a right.

He was informed by villagers that government-sponsored flood relief of 25 kg food grains was distributed at the house of the village body head. "I went to the house of village body head where her husband asked me to go back because flood relief stock was exhausted after distribution. When I insisted that I was yet to get relief, he said he will kill me and poured acid into my eyes," Shiv Kumar said.

Shiv Kumar was first admitted in a government hospital situated near the village. Later he was referred to a government hospital at Jhanjharpur. But when his condition deteriorated the doctors referred him to government hospital in Darbhanga.

Dr Bhupendra Kumar of the hospital said that there is little hope that Shiv Kumar will regain vision. "Both of his eyes badly damaged," he said.

Inspector General of Police RatanLal Kanaujia has directed Madhubani district SP Amritraj to inquire into the matter and submit a report immediately.

Kanaujia has also ordered the arrest of culprits behind blinding of the youth.

Madhubani SP Amritraj said on Saturday that main accused Kapileshwar was absconding from the village after the incident. "Police will arrest him for his crime soon, we will not spare him" he said.

Over 390 people have died and 15 million affected in flood-hit Bihar. Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India, Samata Party and Congress leaders condemned the incident and demanded action against the culprits."

This is not an isolated case. In the last one month two flood victims have been killed including one in police firing and another in police lathi charge and dozens injured at several places when they protested against lack of relief" Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad Khan said.