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Bihar: BJP to Protest Leader’s Alleged Death After Lathi-Charge, Police Denies Claim

Saffron party to stage protest march on July 14 to Raj Bhawan.

Security personnel baton charge BJP supporters during their Vidhan Sabha march in support of demands of teachers' job aspirants, in Patna, Thursday, July 13, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Patna: The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold a protest march in Patna on Friday after a party leader allegedly died after getting seriously injured after the police lathi-charged a protest march toward the Assembly. The party claimed that at least a dozen more BJP leaders and workers were injured in the protest in support of contractual school teachers.

The teachers are demanding status of government employees, sacking Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav after being charge-sheeted in the alleged ‘land for job’ scam and “rampant corruption”.

Senior BJP leaders, including Union Minister Nityanand Rai, former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi claimed that BJP leader Vijay Kumar Singh, general secretary of the party's Jehanabad district, died due to injuries sustained during the police lathi-charge.

Lok Janshakti Party (Ramvilas) chief Chirag Paswan and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, chief of Rashtriya LJP, also echoed the voice of BJP leaders, and condemned the alleged death of Singh due to police lathi-charge. Incidentally, Paswan and Kushwaha are rumoured to be going back to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance fold ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Sushil Modi, meanwhile, blamed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the death of the BJP leader. "Singh, an active party leader, died on the way to hospital after being injured in police lathi-charge. This has clearly exposed that the state government used police brutality against protesters", he told the media.

However, Patna police officials said there were no signs of external injuries on the BJP leader’s body. "The cause of death was unclear and there were no injury marks on his body. He was found unconscious near a road and rushed to the hospital. His body has been sent for post-mortem" Patna SSP Rajiv Mishra told the media.

PMCH (Patna Medical College Hospital) superintendent I S Thakur also said there was no sign of injuries when Singh was brought to the hospital for treatment.

Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary and leader of Opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha criticised the state government for “using police action against protesting BJP leaders and workers to suppress their voice.”

Two hours before the police lathi-charge, BJP leaders including MPs, MLAs ,MLCs and workers assembled at Gandhi Maidan and marched towards the Assembly to protest. But they were stopped near Dak Bungalow intersection and not allowed to cross barricades. The BJP leaders and workers then sat on a dharna and shouted slogans against police and state government. As per reports, some party workers tried to cross the barricade, which led to heated exchange and clash with police. Later, the police used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse protestors ,who allegedly pelted stones at police and abused them.

On Thursday, BJP's MLAs created a ruckus in the state Assembly and demanded sacking of Tejashwi Yadav. This was for the fourth consecutive day when BJP MLAs staged a protest during the ongoing monsoon session of the Bihar Assembly.

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