The clash between police and devotees during the immersion of Durga idols in Munger in Bihar, which resulted in the killing of a man, has turned into a major political row, with the opposition seeking to turn it into an election issue. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has demanded a High Court-monitored probe into the incident, likening it to the actions of General Dyer, while Congress has demanded an apology from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
As the polling for the first phase of Bihar elections began, top leaders of the Opposition alliance led by Yadav, Congress’s Randeep Surjewala and CPI(ML)’s Kavita Krishnan, addressed a press conference in Patna. Attacking Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Yadav asked who gave permission to the Munger police to act like “General Dyer”.
In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi called the Chief Minister and his deputy ‘Apradh Kumar’ and ‘Dushil Modi’, and called the Bihar government “barbaric, cruel, unthinking and insensitive.”
“If you see the video….people are begging, surrounding the idol to protect the idol…sitting, saying allow us to do prayer and people are coming with lathis and hitting them, chasing them as if they are some kind of goondas… Is this a crime in this country to do Durga pooja with all requisite safeguards? And if it is some violation, is this the way to treat human beings, like cattle, like animals, I would say like worms,” he said.
मुंगेर पुलिस के ऊपर 302 का मुक़दमा दर्ज होना चाहिए।श्रद्धालुओं को गोली मारना नीतीश के तालिबानी शासन को दिखाता है।स्थानीय एस॰पी॰ को तत्काल सस्पेंड कर 302 के तहत एफ़॰आई॰आर॰ दर्ज करवाए नीतीश कुमार जी।मृतक के परिवार को 50 लाख रुपए और एक सरकारी नौकरी दे सरकार। #शर्मनाकनीतीश
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Referring to Yadav’s mention about General Dyer [of Jallianwala Bagh], Singhvi said “at least General Dyer was a foreigner…he was the colonial power. This reminds us that barbarism and cruelty against our own people, by our own people, then we realize they also know that their end is near, the end of this cruel, Nikammi, Nirdayi Sarkar is near.”
Taking a swipe at the CM, Yadav asked Nitish, who also holds the home portfolio, what he did to prevent the incident. “Apart from issuing a few tweets, what did deputy chief minister Sushil Modi do to prevent the ugly incident,” he said.
The video of the incident, he said, is heart-rending as youths have been mercilessly beaten up by the police. “Why did the police open fire?” he asked. Hitting out at the BJP, he said the party which never misses a chance to condemn law and order during the RJD rule is silent now.
“This is not an ordinary incident. There should be a High Court-monitored probe into the incident and the district magistrate and the superintendent of police should be immediately removed,” the Opposition chief ministerial candidate demanded. “Instruction must have been issued from somewhere to the Bihar police to act like General Dyer,” he added.
Surjewala too alleged that “under influence of the BJP, the devotees of lord Durga are being targeted by the police in the state.” “This is the sanskaar-sanskriti (tradition and culture) of the JD(U)-BJP alliance,” he alleged.
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