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Bihar Communal Violence: As Police Initiate Action, Absconding Bajrang Dal Leader Surrender

Kundan Kumar, Bajrang Dal convenor of Nalanda district, was forced to surrender minutes after the police started attaching his house.
Bihar Riots

Image Courtesy: Twitter

Patna: A right-wing Bajrang Dal leader, one of the named absconding accused allegedly involved in last week's communal disturbances in Bihar Sharif town, surrendered to police on Saturday after the authorities started property attachment of his house.

Kundan Kumar, Bajrang Dal convenor of Nalanda district (Bajrang Dal district head), was forced to surrender minutes after the police started attaching his house at Ayodhya Nagar under Dipnagar police station in Bihar Sharif.

Kundan is one of the nine accused whose property attachments were started by the district administration on Saturday morning. Six of the nine accused have surrendered to police after action against them was initiated (property attachment).

A week after communal disturbances in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram towns, police finally acted against those allegedly involved in communal disturbances. This came a day after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar publicly announced that stern action would be taken against those involved in the latest incidents over a dispute during the Ram Navami processions on March 31 and April 1.

Two days ago, the ruling JD-U's national president Lalan Singh, in a strongly worded reply to the opposition BJP, blamed Kumar for failing to control communal disturbances. He said that stern action was initiated against a senior BJP leader and a Union minister's son, who was main accused of instigating mobs for violence during a religious procession in the Bhagalpur district nearly five years ago.

Kumar last Wednesday said that the communal violence in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram was caused deliberately and it was part of a well-planned conspiracy to create trouble and disturb religious harmony in the state. Kumar claimed a probe was underway to expose the people involved in the incidents, and the truth would come out soon.

Without naming any politician, political party or organisation, Kumar, for the second time in the past five days, categorically hinted at the involvement of ‘some people’ behind communal disturbances reported in Bihar Sharif, the district headquarters of Nalanda and Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas.

Kumar stressed that it was not the administration's failure because communal disturbances were fomented to widen the rift between the two communities.

“In both places, communal disturbances were caused by some people deliberately as a part of a conspiracy. The probe is going on to identify people who were behind it. We will come out with the truth," Kumar told mediapersons twice in the last one week.

"It is sad, but action would be taken against miscreants. No one will be spared. I have directed top officials to investigate in detail to ensure action against people behind such incidents. There was a peaceful environment in Bihar for a long time; suddenly, what has caused these incidents, we will know soon,” he added.

However,after normalcy return,internet services were resumed on Saturday in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram a week after suspended.

" There is no fresh violence reported and internet services resumed in Biharsharif and administration has been taking action against those found involved in communal disturbances."Nalanda District Magistrate Shashank Shumbkar told NewsClick.

He said that so far 130 people arrested in connection with communal disturbances and 15 FIRs lodged in three police stations in Bihar Sharif."The administration has been appealing people repeatedly to ignore rumours and cooperate to maintain peace".

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in Sasaram and Bihar Sharif by the state government due to the communal tension. Since Saturday, internet services have been suspended in both towns, and heavy deployment of security forces has been made.

As per reports, communal violence erupted in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram on Friday evening, almost a day after the Ram Navami processions. The victims informed the police that a mob of rioters carrying saffron, wearing saffron turbans and shouting Jai Shri Ram, looted, damaged and set ablaze the premises of business establishments owned by Muslims, including marriage halls, transport godowns, shops and electronic showrooms.

The situation was also tense in four other districts, namely Bhagalpur, Gaya, Munger and Muzaffarpur, all related to Ram Navami processions. However, timely action by the local police prevented any major disturbances.

Ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former chief minister Rabri Devi claimed that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were behind the communal disturbances in the state.

At least one person, a 16-year-old boy, died on the way to the hospital after being hit by a bullet, and over three dozen people were injured during the communal violence on March 31 and April 1.

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