Patna: After police brutalities in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Opposition leader, Tejashwi Yadav, has raised questions on the role of state police during protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens. He has cited the Bihar police’s crackdown against those protesting against CAA and NRC in Aurangabad town during RJD’s shutdown on December 21.
“Police under Nitish Kumar is terrorising Muslims and vandalising public property. The police has even told residents, ‘You want azaadi? Wait, we'll give you azaadi’,”, Tejashwi said on December 28.
This is the first time Tejashwi, former deputy chief minister, has accused state police of terrorising Muslims for protesting against CAA and NRC. However, a senior police officer of ADG rank at the police headquarters denied the allegations against police but refused to say anything on this matter.
According to reports, police forcibly entered the house of 20-year-old student Khurshida Khatoon, a resident of Pathan Toli in Aurangabad and threatened to shoot them. She said that police also misbehaved and abused other women, who were in the house at the time. “They also vandalised everything, opened the cupboards and broke door and damaged my scooty,” she added.
Police had also allegedly beaten three minor children of a poor family without any proof against them.
Also read: Thousands Protest Against CAA and NRC in Bihar on Monday
A local social activist, on condition of anonymity, told NewsClick that the police have booked several Muslims, including the old, teenagers and minors for creating violence during protests against CAA and NRC. “Some of the children who have been booked by the police have been identified as adult even though they are not. This exposes their motive,” he said.
Another resident, requesting anonymity due to fear of police backlash, told NewsClick, “Police acted like the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s goons when we were protesting against CAA and NRC during RJD’s shutdown near Ramesh Chowk and Jama Masjid road in the heart of Aurangabad. We were treated as terrorists or criminals for raising voices against the central government’s policies. Not only did they behave roughly but have also created an atmosphere of terror.”
After protest against CAA and NRC turned violent following clashes between two rival groups in Aurangabad, police had raided several Muslim-dominated residential localities and arrested 46 people. Dozens of people who were detained were released later.
There are reports of similar action of police against protestors in Munger, Bhagalpur and Khagaria district.
Last week,Tejashwi had blamed two senior BJP leaders including a Union Minister and an MLC for attacking and firing on peaceful protests during RJD’s shutdown in Phulwari Sharif locality in Patna. A group of local residents near Sangat on main road (NH 98) in Phulwari Sharif, first pelted stones at protesters followed by indiscriminate open firing in which six were injured with gun shots and more than half a dozen sustained head injuries, leg and hand injuries.
Tejashwi on Friday targeted Nitish Kumar in a tweet saying, "Bihar's infamous, incapable turncoat CM Nitish Kumar’s deafening silence is encouraging violence. Even an ordinary person now believes that he is not a person rather a puppet of divisive & poisonous organisation and party like RSS/BJP. He must fulfill his constitutional duties.”
Meanwhile, peaceful protests against the CAA and NRC continue in Bihar. The state has till now witnessed two shutdowns—first by the Left parties supported by the other opposition parties on December 19 and again on December 21 by RJD, supported by all opposition parties and Left parties.