Union Minister of State (MoS) Ashwini Kumar Choubey’s son Arijit Shashwat, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for allegedly inciting the recent communal violence in Bihar, on Monday asked why should he surrender as he is not absconding and is in the shelter of court.
“Mein nyayalay ki sharan mein hun. Bhaagte woh hain, khojna unko padta hai jo kahin gayab ho gaye hon, mein samaaj ke beech mein hun (I am in court’s shelter. People who are absconding are to be searched for. I am there within society),” Shashwat told ANI.
“Why should I surrender? The court issues warrant but the court also gives shelter. Once you go to the court, you will do only what it decides for you. If the police come to arrest me, I will do what they ask. I am moving an anticipatory bail application,” he added.
The Bhagalpur court on Sunday issued warrants against Shashwat and eight others for allegedly inciting communal violence in Bhagalpur district last week.
Meanwhile, Shashwat’s father and Union Minister Choubey said the FIR was nothing but a piece of garbage which was registered by corrupt officers of the area.
The FIR is nothing but a piece of garbage which was registered by corrupt officers of the area. My son made no mistake: Union Minister Ashwini Choubey on arrest warrant against Arijit Sashwat over Bhagalpur incident pic.twitter.com/8SoPOHcvs0
— ANI (@ANI) March 26, 2018
On March 17, a procession of BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal workers triggered communal clashes in Medini Chowk under Nathnagar police station, a Muslim-dominated area, in Bhagalpur. Organised by the Bharatiya Navvarsh Jagran Samiti on the eve of the Hindu New Year, the procession passed through a 15-km route, which included at least half-a-dozen Muslim-dominated areas.
According to Lalmatia outpost in-charge Sanjeev Kumar, who was deployed in Nathnagar, some of the slogans raised by the participants were “provocative”, and could have triggered the stone-pelting in which three policemen were injured. “There was a clash between two groups, and an attempt was made to vitiate the atmosphere,” Bihar DGP K S Dwivedi said. Shaswat earlier told The Indian Express that he was about “3-4 kms from the spot when the stone-pelting took place”.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has lost the control of the government.”Nitish Kumar should answer how is he (Arijit Shashwat) roaming free if there is a warrant issued against him. He has lost the control of the govt. It’s is being run from Nagpur. This shows how weak he has become,” Yadav told ANI.
Yesterday, Choubey had also said that his son has not done anything wrong and wondered why would his son surrender on the basis of “false FIRs” “Mere bete ne koi ganda kaam nahi kiya. FIR toh jhut ka pulinda hai, uspe kyun surrender karega? (My son has not done anything wrong. The FIR is a bunch of lies. Why would he surrender on the basis of it?)” Ashwini Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI. “Arijit kahin chupa hua nahi hai. Wo aaj apne gaon bhi gaya aur bhagwan Ram ki aarti bhi utari (Arijit is not hiding anywhere. He went to his village today and prayed to Lord Ram),” the Union Minister added.
Choubey, the Union MoS for Health and Family Welfare, had earlier said, “I am proud that Arijit is my son. All BJP workers are like my son. Is there anything wrong in leading a procession to celebrate the Hindu New Year? Kya Bharat Ma ki baat karna galat hai? Kya Vande Mataram kehna gunah hai? (Is it a crime to talk about Bharat Ma? Is it a crime to say Vande Mataram?)”