There is an attempt from certain forces to vitiate the atmosphere in Bihar ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year. This has been disclosed in the highly confidential Intelligence Bureau’s report which suggests how there has been upsurge in incidents of communal clashes after Bihar CM Nitish Kumar dumped ally of 17 years over Narendra Modi elevation as BJP’s PM candidate. Headlines Today-Aaj Tak is in exclusive possession of this classified document which shows that 87 incidents of communal clashes were reported between June and December 2013. In the corresponding period in 2012, the number of such incidents was limited to just 24.
The report mentions of communal tension that took place between Hindus and Muslims over a religious event in Gaya in the month of July resulting in injury of 13 Hindus and 3 police personnel. Also the communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Nawada town finds mention. The incident took place in August last year over the refusal to serve non-vegetarian food by a Hindu “dhabawala” resulting in casualty of one Hindu and one Muslim and injuries to 8 Hindus, 5 Muslims and 3 police officials. Nawada incident was perhaps the most serious communal clash in 2013. Same month another clash of Hindus and Muslims tool place in Bettiah town after some miscreants pelted stones on the procession of Mahaviri jhanda resulting in injuries to 11 Hindus, 3 Muslims and 8 police personnel. In fact, the irate mob even torched the vehicle of Bettiah DM and SP.
Bettiah and Nawada are strongholds of the BJP and therefore Bihar government is insinuating that the saffron party was behind these incidents. In fact, CM Nitish has been warning people in the state on how communal forces were trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the state post Narendra Modi’s Hunkaar Rally held last October. Nitish said “Efforts are being made to flare up communal hatred but the trouble makers are not successful in translating it into communal tension. I am constantly appealing to people through my public meeting asking them to remain cautious from such trouble makers. After we broke with BJP, there has been increase in such incidents but state administration is equipped and determined to control such incidents.”
Erstwhile ally BJP is in fact justifying the communal flare up across the state in the run up to the elections. The party is accusing Nitish Kumar of shamelessly doing everything possible to woo Muslim votes. BJP’s state in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan said “Government is losing its authority and looking everything from vote bank point of view. Nitish just focuses on appeasing a certain section of the society. Is this not communal politics? Nitish has become slack in administering the state and therefore such incidents are happening.”
BJP’s state convener Sanjay Chowdhary said “Nitish has become blind in order to appease Muslim voters ahead of elections and his government seems to be ignoring the Hindu community. As a result Hindus in the state are feeling neglected.”
With the elections drawing closer and political campaigning intensifying, such incidents are a cause of concern. Both Nitish Kumar as well as his arch rival Lalu Prasad will be eyeing the Muslim votes. The state administration claims of being alert to crush the trouble makers. However, the situation in the state continues to be alarming.