Ties between Bihar's ruling JD(U), BJP slump after saffron party leaders complain to DGP about arrests for communal clashes
BJP leaders had been claiming privately that police had unfairly targeted innocent people from the majority community after communal clashes erupted in seven districts last month.
PATNA: Bihar’s ruling allies JD(U) and BJP are witnessing a new slump in their relationship after the saffron party made it known that it is not happy about the arrests of its local leaders and workers for their role in the recent communal clashes in the state.
BJP leaders had been claiming privately that police had “unfairly targeted innocent people from the majority community” after communal clashes erupted in seven districts last month. A delegation of BJP leaders, led by the party’s MLA and chief whip Arun Kumar Sinha, met state DGP KS Dwivedi and submitted him a memorandum on Friday seeking to inform him how the Ram Navmi processions were attacked and the participants were provoked to retaliate in self-defence.
The two-page memorandum urged the DGP to initiate an “impartial probe” into the communal flare-ups and to release the “innocent people” arrested for incidents of violence that followed. A total of 15 cases have been registered by police in connection with the clashes and 214 people were arrested.
“According to information received by the party, 187 Hindus and 23 Muslims have been arrested… The administration has adopted a soft approach towards the minority community,” said the memorandum, which gives BJP’s version of the facts during the clashes in Aurangabad, Samastipur and Nalanda districts.
BJP sources said the party’s leadership feels aggrieved because the state home department, which is with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has not so far taken any action despite the saffron party’s leadership expressing its displeasure over the arrests in the past few days.
“It is the government’s responsibility to find out the truth behind these incidents through a fair probe and then take proper action against those who were involved in the violence. Targeting a particular community is not a good step,” said senior BJP leader and former Union minister CP Thakur.
JD(U) spokesperson and MLC Rajiv Ranjan said: “Police action has come after investigations. The chief minister does not believe in favouring any community over another in ghastly incidents such as communal clashes”.
The Opposition RJD and Congress attacked Nitish Kumar over the BJP leaders’ meeting with the DGP.
Open clash between Nitish Kumar & BJP. State BJP targeting Home Department handled by CM Nitish. Bihar became victim of Nitish Kumar’s greed. pic.twitter.com/bnB7NAw6LJ— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) April 7, 2018
“After trying to create a fear psychosis among the Muslims in Bihar, they (BJP) are now trying to mount pressure on Nitish Kumar. It is time he showed that he has a real spine,” said Congress state president Kaukab Quadri.