PATNA: Even as two local BJP leaders were arrested on Thursday for the communal clashes in Bihar’s Samastipur district, the main Opposition RJD mounted fresh attacks on the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government for failure to rein in communal violence.
Dinesh Jha and Mohan Patwa were arrested along with ten others for their involvement in the communal clashes that erupted at Rosera on Tuesday. Jha is a member of BJP’s state farmers’ wing and Patwa, a member of the party’s state weavers’ wing. Patwa, who has an RSS background, was allegedly one of the leaders who incited the violence that left nearly 60 people, including policemen, injured and dozens of shops and vehicles gutted.
A mosque was vandalised and a saffron flag was forcibly hoisted on top of a minaret by a mob a day after a Ram Navami procession in the town. Samastipur SP Dipak Ranjan said the arrests were made on the basis of video footage during the skirmishes.
The arrests sparked protests by BJP workers at Rosera, who persuaded businessmen to keep their shops shut. BJP’s Samastipur district president Ramsumran Singh dubbed the arrests “one-sided” and demanded the early release of the two leaders.
BJP, an ally of the state’s JD(U)-led government, held its core committee meeting and accused RJD leaders of “spreading rumours about a particular community”. Recent incidents of communal clashes figured in this meeting, chaired by BJP’s state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav and attended by several ministers and top leaders of the party.
“The Opposition leader (Tejashwi Yadav of RJD) is unduly speaking on these incidents and spreading rumours about a particular community. By doing this, he is creating an atmosphere of fear,” said senior BJP leader and road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav after the meeting.
RJD rubbished the minister’s charges and said the Opposition party could not keep quiet when communal violence was spreading across the state.
RJD leaders also accused the state government of shielding Arjit Shashwat, the son of Union minister Ashwini Choubey, who is accused of inciting communal clashes in Bhagalpur’s Nathnagar on March 17.
Although a Bhagalpur court issued an arrest warrant against Shashwat on Saturday, he continued to evade arrest and moved Patna High Court on Thursday seeking a quashing of the FIR.
Bhagalpur SSP Manoj Kumar said Shashwat and nine other accused would be arrested soon.