Armed gang breaks into judge’s house in Araria, murder attempt alleged

Alert security guards at the official residence of Shashidhar Vishwakarma, additional district and sessions judge (ADJ)-cum-special judge (excise), foiled an alleged attempt to kill the ADJ in the early hours of Friday.

Around 2am, at least six criminals somehow sneaked into the judge’s residence, in the highly protected G Block area. However, one guard saw them and immediately raised an alarm. “On hearing our alarm, five of those six criminals, who were armed, managed to escape by jumping off the boundary wall, while one of them hid on the judge’s terrace. We managed to catch him,” said a guard on duty.

Araria police were called, and they came and took the criminal in custody. Till the time of the filing of this report, the police were interrogating him. In an FIR lodged with the town police station, protocol officer Shyam Bihari Singh (Civil court, Araria) said he suspected that the six criminals had broken into the premises with a motive to kill the ADJ.

The news of the intrusion spread like wildfire in the morning, and the entire judicial fraternity rushed to Vishwakarma’s house to ask about his well-being. They also criticised the way the police functioned.

Araria district and sessions judge Ram Prakash addressed a press conference in his official chamber later in the day and declared the incident “highly shocking and serious”. He wondered how the criminals could manage to break into his colleague’s residence despite the fact that the local police station was a stone’s throw away.

“I rushed there to take stock of the situation and communicated the incident to the district magistrate (DM) and superintendent of police (SP). The DM came within 10 minutes, but the SP reached an hour late,” said Prakash, alleging widespread lawlessness in the district. He also expressed hope that the security of judicial officers would be tightened.

“It’s up to the police now to investigate the matter with full sincerity and honesty, so that the motive of the criminals is exposed,” said Prakash.

Araria sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) KD Singh, however, ruled out claims that the criminals wanted to kill the ADJ. Singh said, “The arrested criminal appears to be mentally unstable. Prima facie, it seems he and his five companions had gone there to burgle the house.” The SDPO clarified that the matter was being investigated from all angles.

Repeated attempts to contact Araria SP Dhurat Sayali Savalaram were not met with a response.

Judicial officers’ homes being burgled is not new in Bihar. In April 2017, burglars had struck at the official residence of the chief judicial magistrate in Katihar when his family was away. Valuables worth Rs 10 lakh were stolen.

First Published:
Mar 02, 2019 13:52 IST

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