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Bulldozers pull down toilet building being used by villager, lands in hospital

Authorities in Bihar have come under fire for running bulldozers on an “illegally-constructed” toilet building while an elderly villager was still relieving himself.

Manoj Chaurasia | Patna |

Authorities in Bihar have come under fire for running bulldozers on an “illegally-constructed” toilet building while an elderly villager was still relieving himself.

The man with severe injuries has been admitted to a government hospital for treatment. Reports said a team of local administration accompanied by bulldozers was clearing encroachments from the main roads in view of the upcoming Shravani mela when they noticed some illegal structures coming up near Athgama village in the Sultanganj block of Bhagalpur district.

Soon the bulldozers went into the job and began pulling down the alleged encroachments. Even as they were clearing the illegal structures, the authorities noticed a toilet built on government land and ordered its demolition very soon even though an elderly villager Basudeo Mandal was relieving himself at that time. Witnesses said Mandal’s son Anuj Kumar who was present on the spot urged the authorities to spare the toilet for some time saying his father was inside but they didn’t take any notice of his appeal. 

“Despite my repeated appeals, the bulldozers began demolishing the toilet while my father was using it. As a result, the toilet debris fell down on my defecating father who sustained severe injuries in the incident,” Kumar told the newsmen today.

Alleging the officials showed no sensitivity on their part, he said heaven would not have fallen had the toilet been brought down after his father came out of it. 

Curiously, the victim’s daughter-in-law Bimla Devi happens to be an elected ward member and her appeal too went unheeded, local villagers said. The victim with severe injuries has been admitted to the local Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital where he is under the observation of doctors.

The local Circle Officer Shambhu Sharan Rai, however, denied the allegation saying they had no information that the toilet was being used by someone at the time of demolition. The local administrations in Bhagalpur have launched an anti-encroachment drive in view of the upcoming month-long Shrawani Mela during which millions of Hindu devotees drop in and walk on foot to reach Baidyanath Dham temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas located in neighbouring Jharkhand’s Deoghar district, and offer holy waters to Lord Shiva.

The devotees first visit Sultanganj where the Ganges flows to the North. It is from this place that the devotees collect water in their kanwars and carry the holy Ganges water on their shoulders.

They trek some 109 km through the meandering roads leading to Baba Baidyanath temple. It is to ensure that the visiting devotees don’t face any problems while walking on a foot that the authorities have now begun removing all the encroachments/illegal structures from the roads.