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Teenager whose killing triggered Bihar violence is alive

Teenager who had eloped with girlfriend currently in custody of Delhi police

Gulf News

Patna: In a curious turn of events, the reported killing of the teenager Prashant Jha which triggered large-scale rioting in Bihar for two consecutive says has been found alive.

The police yesterday confirmed the youth, along with his girlfriend, has been recovered and is currently in the custody of Delhi police.

“All is well that ends well,” exclaimed Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, “although the Madhubani incident is very unfortunate”.

Life was hit severely in Bihar following the 24-hour shutdown called by the opposition parties to protest the police firing in Madhubani district at the weekend.

At least three people were killed and around a dozen others were wounded when police fired on the protesting mob.

The rioting was triggered by Jha and his girlfriend’s disappearance. Trouble began when police said they had recovered the beheaded body of the boy, which they alleged was Jha’s. Jha had been missing since last month. Police, however, refused Jha’s parents’ appeal to hand over the body for last rites.

The reckless firing united the scattered opposition in Bihar which took to the streets on Sunday to enforce a state-wide shutdown to protest the police fire.

“Never in my entire police career spanning over two decades, I have come across such incident,” Bihar’s director general of police Abahanand said.

According to the DGP, during the investigation the police came to know that the eloping lovers had sold their cell phone at a mobile shop in Muzaffarpur. He said after after fleeing Bihar, they travelled to Ranchi, Jammu and Darjeeling before reaching Delhi where they had been staying for few days.

“Someone suspected them to be the missing lovers from Bihar and dialled the Mehrauli [Delhi] police. Subsequently, the police came and recovered both of them. They are safe now and we are completing legal formalities to bring them back,” the DGP said.

“Today I had talks with the boy [Prashant] and he told me that he wants to live with the girl,” he added.

Although the shutdown call was given by the Left, it was supported by all the opposition parties, such as the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Nationalist Congress Party. This was the first time in seven years that the entire opposition showed rare solidarity against the ruling Nitish Kumar government.

The shutdown severely affected public utility services like rail and road services and banks. All schools also remained closed apprehending trouble from the strikers.