Arrest warrant issued against Union Minister Ashwini Choubey’s son Arjit Shaswat for communal clashes in Bihar

Bihar police said on Sunday that efforts are on to arrest Arjit Shaswat, the son of Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, and eight others accused of inciting communal violence at Nathnagar.

Published: 25th March 2018 08:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2018 08:42 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

PATNA: Bihar police said on Sunday that efforts are on to arrest Arjit Shaswat, the son of Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, and eight others accused of inciting communal violence at Nathnagar in Bhagalpur district on March 17.

“A court has issued an arrest warrant against nine accused in the case of rioting and inciting violence. We are working at executing the warrants. All the accused will be arrested shortly,” said Bhagalpur senior superintendent of police Manoj Kumar on Sunday.

The warrant was issued by the court of Bhagalpur additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) Anjani Kumar Srivastava on Saturday afternoon after Nathnagar police station inspector Janifuddin sought the warrants. The court perused the case diary and the police petition before issuing the warrants. Before this, the court had rejected the police plea for warrants twice.

“We are also awaiting arrest warrants to be issued by the court in the second FIR lodged in connection with the communal clashes. We take strict action in all cases of violence or intolerance that are communal in nature,” said Bihar’s ADGP (headquarters) SK Singhal in Patna.

Police sources said all the nine warrantees – Arjit Shaswat, Abhay Kumar, Sonu Ghosh, Pramod Verma Pammi, Dev Kumar Pandey, Sanjay Bhatt, Surendra Pathak, Anup Lal Sah and Pranab Sah – have been absconding since the warrants were issued.

The Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar managed to silence the aggressive Opposition parties by ensuring the arrest warrants against the Union minister’s son and the other accused. The Opposition RJD and Congress had stalled Assembly proceedings for two days by accusing the government of shielding those who instigated communal violence three days after BJP lost the Araria Lok Sabha bypolls.

Clashes had broken out at Medini Chowk under Nathnagar police station, a Muslim-dominated area, during a procession organised by the Bharatiya Navvarsh Jagran Samiti and led by Arjit Shashwat on the eve of the Hindu New Year. The procession was attended by hundreds of workers of BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal. Stone pelting and firing of gunshots were reported, leaving at least 18 people, including six policemen, injured.

Shaswat, who contested the 2015 Assembly polls as a BJP candidate and lost, has earlier denied having any role in the communal clashes. An MBA and an engineering degree holder, he quit his job in Australia to join politics in 2006.

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