Union Minister of State (MoS) Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Sunday said his son Arijit Shashwat has not done anything wrong and wondered why would his son surrender on the basis of “false FIRs”. The statement came after a Bhagalpur court on Sunday issued warrants against Shashwat and eight others for allegedly inciting communal violence in Bhagalpur district last week.
“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.
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.
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?)”
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”.