The opposition RJD in Bihar on Monday alleged that the person driving the SUV which mowed down nine children in Muzaffarpur district two days ago was “a drunk BJP leader” whom the Nitish Kumar government was trying to shield.
Rubbishing the charge, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi asserted that the police has been directed to take “sternest possible action” against the accused, “irrespective of political affiliations”.
“Prohibition in Bihar is a farce and the ghastly incident of Muzaffarpur, where a drunk BJP leader crushed nine children to death and left more than 20 others injured, proves our point,” Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Tejashwi Yadav told reporters.
He later led a march to Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to Governor Satya Pal Malik.
“The identity of the accused is now known as the police has registered an FIR against a named person. Yet, no arrest has been made. We suspect he has been asked by his political bosses to hide for some time so that no trace of alcohol is found in his blood during investigation,” Yadav said.
Daroga Ansari, whose granddaughter was among those killed, had in a written complaint to police named Manoj Baitha, said to be the state general secretary of the BJP’s “Mahadalit” cell and a resident of Sitamarhi district, as the culprit.
“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar owes an apology to the people of the state for gross failure of his administration to restrain those close to the corridors of power from flouting the prohibition law,” the former deputy chief minister said.
Reacting to the allegations, Sushil Modi said, “Even if the person is found to be associated with the BJP, he will not be spared. I have spoken to the district police chief of Muzaffarpur and asked for sternest possible action, irrespective of political affiliations of the accused”.
“Ours is a government that believes in the rule of law. It is not a regime which seeks to protect the likes of Raj Ballabh Yadav and Shahabuddin,” the senior BJP leader said.
Raj Ballabh Yadav is an RJD MLA currently in jail for the rape of a minor girl. Don-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin is a four-time former MP from Siwan serving sentences in at least two criminal cases.