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Ex-BJP MLA Arrested in Bihar Ram Navami Violence Case

Jawahar Prasad, who had won the Sasaram Assembly seat five times since 1990, was arrested from his Sasaram residence.
Ram Navami

File Photo.

Patna: After Nalanda’s Bajrang Dal district chief Kundan Kumar was forced to surrender regarding the Ram Navami violence in Bihar Sharif earlier this month, former BJP MLA leader Jawahar Prasad, one of the accused in the communal disturbances, was arrested from his residence in Sasaram late Friday night.

Sahabad DIG Naveen Chandra Jha confirmed the arrest of the senior opposition BJP leader, who had won the Sasaram Assembly seat five times since 1990, in connection with the communal violence in Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas.

Sasaram SP Vineet Kumar told Newsclick that Prasad was “arrested along with another man. Both are the main accused in the communal disturbance”. 

So far, 65 accused have been arrested, and the police are raiding several locations to nab the remaining 38 absconding accused.

A 16-year-old died on the way to the hospital after being shot and more than 36 people were injured during the communal violence.

Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been imposed in Sasaram and Bihar Sharif following the violence. The Internet has been suspended in both towns since Saturday with a heavy police deployment of security forces.

Recently, BJP leaders Shivnath Choudhary, Sonu Sinha and Robin Keshri surrendered in Sasaram in connection with the communal violence. Both Choudhary and Sinha are former presidents of Sasaram’s BJP unit.

Reacting to Prasad’s arrest, chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar said, “The police will take action against those involved in the communal disturbance as per investigation. They may belong to different political parties, but we never protect anyone or act without evidence.”

However, Opposition leader Vijay Kumar Sinha alleged that the Kumar government is “framing BJP leaders in cases of communal disturbance. The police action against BJP leaders is political vendetta”.

Kundan was forced to surrender minutes after the police started attaching his house at Ayodhya Nagar, under the Dipnagar Police Station, in Bihar Sharif. The police acted after the CM publicly announced that stern action would be taken against those involved in the Ram Navami violence on March 31 and April 1.

Kumar had alleged that the communal violence in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram was “deliberate” and was “part of a well-planned conspiracy to create trouble and disturb the state’s religious harmony”. He said that a “probe was under way to expose the people involved in the incidents, and the truth would come out soon”.

Without naming any politician, political party or organisation, Kumar repeatedly hinted at the involvement of “some people” behind the communal violence. 

Ruling RJD leader and former CM Rabri Devi had alleged that the RSS and the BJP were behind the communal disturbance.

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