Bihar: BJP ‘Spreading Lies’, Says Ruling Mahagathbandan on Allegations of Lathi-Charge Death
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: Amid protests by Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against police action against its leaders and workers, the ruling Mahagathbandhan strongly countered its allegations on Friday and rejected its demand to sack Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav after being charge-sheeted in the alleged ‘land for job’ scam.
On Friday, BJP observed a ‘black day’ against police action during its march in support of protesting teachers in which a party leader allegedly died after getting seriously injured. The party's MLAs also staged protest in the Assembly on the last day of monsoon session and outside (on the streets).
The saffron party also took out a protest march from Assembly to Raj Bhawan with BJP state president Samrat Choudhary terming the death of a party leader allegedly in police lathi-charge as ‘murder’.
On Thursday, hundreds of saffron party leaders protested here in support of contractual school teachers’ demand to give them status of government employees, sacking of Tejashwi Yada among other issues.
Senior BJP leaders claimed that a BJP leader Vijay Kumar Singh, general secretary of the party's Jehanabad district, died due to injuries sustained in the police lathi-charge during the protest. The party claimed that at least a dozen more BJP leaders and workers were injured.
Lalan Singh, national president of Janata Dal-United, a major ally of Mahagathbandhan, told the media here on Friday that BJP was “spreading lies” to defame the state government.
"Police acted after BJP leaders and workers violated the rules by entering the restricted area during the protest march, pelted stones and threw chilli powder. Police have to take action to maintain peace if anyone violate rules and threatened peace", he said.
Singh, considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said there was no government plan of police lathi-charge, as alleged and propagated by the BJP.
“Video clips of how BJP leaders and workers were breaking barricades and throwing chilli powder went viral on social media. If someone violates laws, the law will take its course", he added.
Singh said, “We have all the sympathy for Vijay Kumar Singh. But he was neither present at protest march nor beaten or injured in police lathi-charge. There was no sign of injury on his body, which was confirmed by the police and doctors,” he said and dared BJP to prove that the deceased was present during the lathi-charge.
"Why are top BJP leaders are silent on the killing and violence in Manipur if they are so concerned over police lathi-charge", he added.
Singh also made it clear that there was no question of resignation of Tejashwi Yadav. "All of us know that the fresh chargesheet against Tejashwi is a result of misuse of Central agencies against rivals. So far no evidence has been found in the 2017 case. But after JD-U joined hands with RJD last year and formed the government, the BJP-led Central government is again targeting him. The chargesheet will not affect us. In Maharashtra, BJP made a NCP leader minister only a few days after none other than PM Narendra Modi spoke against his corruption", he said.
Kumar himself refused to say anything on the police lathi-charge on Friday and said that top officials would explain the incident.
RJD leader and Bihar Minister Surendar Ram accused BJP of ‘conspiring” to create violence during the protest march that was foiled by the police.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav denied allegations that the BJP leader died after being injured in police lathi-charge. He said all pictures, video clips and photos were evidences to prove that deceased was not injured in police lathi-charge.
The Deputy CM told media that BJP leaders were “well known for spreading rumours and experts in doing negative politics to defame the state.”
"Is it not true that a bag of red chilli powder was thrown at the police by BJP workers during the protest march? What was chilli powder doing in the protest march?” he said.
Tejashwi Yadav told the media that BJP leaders were doing everything to create trouble in the state as the saffron party was scared of the Mahagathbandhan ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
"If BJP leaders are so concerned about 10 lakh jobs in Bihar, why are they silent on the promise of two crore jobs annually by the party led Central government", he said.
Meanwhile, the Patna police lodged an FIR in Kotwali police station against 59 named BJP leaders and hundreds of unidentified party workers for marching on the roads without prior permission, entering restricted areas, stone-pelting, throwing chilli powder, attacking police and obstructing government work during the July 13 protest march.
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