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Bihar: Latest Communal Violence Deliberate, Part of a Conspiracy, Says Nitish Kumar

For the second time in five days, the Chief Minister hints at involvement of ‘some people’, without naming any politician, political party or organisation
Image Courtesy: PTI

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Amid near normalcy returning to Bihar Sharif and Sasaram towns in Bihar after clashes between two communities broke out over a dispute during the Ram Navami processions, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that it (communal violence) was caused deliberately and was part of a well-planned conspiracy to create trouble and disturb communal harmony in the state. Kumar claimed a probe was underway to expose the people behind it, 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 on last Friday and Saturday.

“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 the media.

"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.

Because of the communal tension, the state government has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Sasaram and Bihar Sharif. The administration has suspended internet service in both towns since Saturday, and security forces have been heavily deployed.

Kumar on Wednesday reiterated that it was not a failure of the administration because communal disturbances were created to widen the rift between the two communities.

With Kumar talking about a conspiracy angle behind the latest communal disturbances in the state, his statement: “Do log hai, ek raj kar raha hai aur dusra uska agent hai. Wahi dono milkar yeh sab idhar se udhar kar rahe hai (Two people are behind it, one is ruling, and another is his agent),” is widely seen as a indirectly targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi as the ‘agent’. Both Shah and Owaisi directly attacked Kumar and blamed him for the communal disturbances.

As per reports, communal violence in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram occurred on Friday evening, nearly a day after Ram Navami processions passed through the streets. A senior police official associated with the probe into communal disturbances in Bihar Sharif told NewsClick that the victims informed them that a mob of rioters carrying saffron, wearing saffron turbans and shouting Jai Shri Ram stormed into the premises of business establishments, including marriage halls, transport godowns, shops and electronic showrooms owned by Muslims. They looted, damaged and set ablaze the marriage halls, transport godowns and buses and ransacked fruit and garment vendors.

"It seems communal unrest by the mob was well planned. Evidence on the ground suggests the rioters on Friday chose the evening hours, ahead of breaking of the Ramzan fast. There was a plan the way a historical and 100-year-old Azizya madrasa was set ablaze, and its library was reduced to ashes," the police official said.

Communal tension was also reported in four other districts -- Bhagalpur, Gaya, Munger and Muzaffarpur – all related to Ram Navami processions, but timely action by the local police controlled the situation.

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

Opposition BJP MLAs created a ruckus over communal disturbances in the Assembly on Wednesday.

During the communal violence on March 31 and April 1, 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.

The police have arrested 130 people allegedly involved in communal trouble, including pelting stones, attacking and looting shops and torching vehicles. Over a dozen FIRs have been lodged.

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