Bihar government allots funds to repair mosques, shops damaged during communal clashes; some in BJP unhappy
The prompt allotment of funds by the state home department, headed by the CM, is seen by many in BJP and the Sangh Parivar organisations as his alacrity to retain his image as a secular politician.
PATNA: Even as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar released funds to be paid as compensation to people injured in the communal clashes and for repairing shops, a mosque and a madrassa damaged during the clashes, leaders of his ally BJP and Bajrang Dal did not appear too happy about the move.
The prompt allotment of funds by the state home department, headed by Kumar, is seen by many in BJP and the Sangh Parivar organisations as his alacrity to retain his image as a secular politician. The home department issued allotment letters worth Rs 36.13 lakh on Wednesday, the day he categorically reaffirmed his commitment to fostering communal harmony in Bihar.
At least nine incidents of communal clashes had taken place in the state before and after Ram Navmi last month, leaving dozens of people, mostly Muslims, injured. A total of 15 cases were registered by police in these incidents and 214 people were arrested. The latest incident of communal tension took place in the northern town of Sitamarhi on Wednesday, when a group of people attacked a Muslim man’s house over an allegedly objectionable Facebook post.
Several leaders of BJP and Bajrang Dal questioned the fact that Rs 2.13 lakh was allotted by the government for repairing the Gudri mosque and Jiaul-Ulum Madrassa in Samastipur district. The two sites had witnessed vandalism by mobs during the clashes.
“While the clashes affected people from both the communities, it is unfortunate that the state government has allotted funds only for a particular community,” said Ram Sumiran Singh, BJP’s Samastipur district president.
RN Singh, a leader of Bajrang Dal, described the allotment of funds to repair the mosque and the madrasa as “examples of appeasement policy” and demanded a “permanent end” to it.
BJP sources said the issue of allotments was discussed among senior BJP leaders in the state and that they disapproved of it. “Senior party leaders are not speaking on this matter right now, but they will open their lips at the right time,” said an MLA of the saffron party.