Patna: Union minister Ashwini Choubey, whose son Arijit Sashwat is wanted in a case involving communal clashes in Bihar, today called the police case “garbage” and gave a clean chit to him, saying he has “not done anything wrong”. His son questioned why he should I surrender.
The clashes in Bhagalpur — which witnesses one of the country’s worst communal riots in 1989 — has not only given a handle to Bihar’s opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, it has also irked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had broken off with the two parties to partner the BJP last year.
Arijit Sashwat, the 36-year-old son of Mr Choubey, had allegedly led a procession of right-wing members through a sensitive area of the town, raising provocative slogans. It led to a clash in which several men were injured.
Now the party top leadership has instructed pappa Choubey to ask his son to move for his bail in the concerned court failing which he should surrender sooner than later.
“The FIR is nothing but a piece of garbage which was registered by corrupt officers of the area. My son made no mistake,” said Mr Choubey, the junior minister for health and family welfare in Narendra Modi’s government.
“He raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Is it a crime to raise these slogans?” added the minister, who earlier claimed that the local police were inefficient and targetted his son to hide their own shortcomings.
Mr Sashwat said he was moving an application for anticipatory bail. “Why should I surrender? Whatever court says, I will follow,” he added.
Over the last week, the opposition has raised the issue repeatedly in the assembly. Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, who was Bihar’s deputy Chief Minister before the Nitish Kumar pulled the plug on the Grand Alliance, took on his former boss with a tweet.
This guy is challenging Nitish Kumar time and again. He is making mockery of Nitish Kumar. Where is rule of law & law of land Mr. CM? Don’t be that coward! He is wanted in a case of inciting riots. Such a Shame for Nitish govt.. https://t.co/paXlok6HeB
— Tejaswi yadav (@YadavTejaswi) March 26, 2018
Mr Kumar has already made his displeasure clear. “There are some people who think that causing tension in the society will bring in electoral dividends. We believe in peace and harmony,” the Chief Minister said at a function in Patna last week.
He has flagged the police case against Arijit Sashwat as an example of tough action that could be expected in such cases.