A BJP worker accused of inciting communal violence in Bihar’s Aurangabad district on March 25-26 has surrendered, two days after he escaped from police custody. The Bharatiya Janata Party worker, Anil Singh, has been taken into 14-day judicial custody, senior police officer Satya Prakash Singh said.
A Ram Navami procession was passing through Aurangabad on March 25 when violence broke out. Stones were pelted and provocative slogans were raised, following which the police enforced a curfew and arrested at least 150 people.
Mr Singh, who is also a member of the Hindu Seva Samiti, is accused of playing a key role in instigating the violence and was among the 150 people who were arrested immediately after violence broke out.
Somehow Mr Singh escaped from police custody on March 29, drawing sharp criticism from the opposition in Bihar that the state government was not doing enough to act against “dangerous individuals” who are linked to the BJP and its ideologue the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS.
Following the BJP worker’s escape, the police had filed a fresh first information report (FIR) against him.
On Saturday last, union minister Ashwini Choubey’s son Arijit Shashwat, who is also accused of inciting violence in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, had surrendered after evading arrest for over a week. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
The opposition Congress has criticised the Bihar government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) over the Ram Navami violence not only in Aurangabad but in Nawada, Samastipur, Munger, Bhagalpur and Nalanda districts as well.
“This is yet another incident of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar being helpless in the face of rising dominance of the BJP-RSS over the state’s administrative machinery,” Bihar Congress acting president Kaukab Qadri said.
Mr Qadri said it is difficult to understand how a person accused of rioting walked out of police custody without sending alarm bells ringing in the administration. He said the officials came to know about the escape a day later after it was reported in the media.