The BJP slammed the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and demanded his resignation after a party leader died allegedly in a police lathi-charge in Patna. A four-member BJP committee met injured party workers at a hospital in Patna today, days after a march was organised by the party against the Nitish Kumar government.
The opposition party in Bihar alleged that the police lathi-charge during the "Vidhan Sabha march" was a "pre-planned conspiracy" of the state government to instil fear among people and prevent them from holding protests for their rights and justice. "It was pre-planned to beat BJP workers on July 13 or rather to kill them. Suddenly route (of the protest) was changed and tear gas, water cannon, and lathi charge were used..." BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said. A delegation of BJP leaders, led by its state unit chief, also met Bihar Governor R V Arlekar to lodge a protest against Bihar Police’s “excesses”.
#WATCH | Patna: BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, a member of the BJP committee formed on Bihar police lathi charge says, " It was pre-planned to beat BJP workers on July 13 or rather to kill them. Suddenly route (of the protest) was changed and tear gas, water cannon, and lathi charge were… pic.twitter.com/Nu63apGVCR— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2023
BJP leader Sunita Duggal said that the sequence of events will be investigated and the report will be given to the party's National President. "We will also talk to the police and ask who gave them the order to lathi charge the workers. We will also meet the workers," she said. The BJP's central leadership has constituted a four-member fact-finding team to look into the death of Vijay Singh, the Jehanabad district general secretary, who died at a government hospital.
Bihar Police claims Singh was not killed in lathi-charge
The Bihar Police has claimed that Singh was not killed in lathi-charge as he was not present at the protest site in Patna when the police action took place, a PTI report said citing a police statement.
"Preliminary investigation and scrutiny of CCTV footages of different locations have revealed that Vijay Kumar Singh, who was a native of Jehanabad, had never reached the Dak Bungalow roundabout where the lathi-charge took place," said the statement issued by Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Rajeev Mishra late on Thursday.
BJP state president Samrat Choudhary was quoted as saying by PTI, "Vijay Kumar Singh was very much present at the protest site and he died due to police brutality." He further alleged that the police acted according to the CMO's directions.
Some reports pointed out that Patna Police has issued CCTV footage showing Singh had been away from the protest site. BJP state chief Samrat Choudhary said: “How can Patna Police come to conclusion when postmortem report is yet to arrive? We call it murder at the hands of the administration.”
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav slams BJP
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav lambasted the opposition BJP for blaming his government for the death of the party leader while taking part in a procession. "The administration has already explained the circumstances which led to the lathi charge during BJP's Vidhan Sabha march. They had come carrying sacks full of chilli powder which they threw at police personnel", he alleged.
Yadav said he would not like to comment on the death of Singh, since it was still under investigation though doctors attending to him have said there were no injury marks on his body while the police have claimed that CCTV footage suggests he was not at the site where "mild" use of force took place.
Bihar Legislature adjourned sine die
Both Houses of the Bihar Legislature were adjourned sine die on Friday after a deadlock between the opposition and the state government over several issues including the new teachers recruitment policy of the 'Mahagathbandhan' government, alleged corruption and growing unemployment in the state.