With communal tension peaking in Sasaram in Rohtas district of Bihar after two groups clashed during a Ram Navami procession onFriday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah cancelled his Sunday visit to attend an event commemorating Mauryan Emperor Ashoka’s birth anniversary.
Instead, Shah will address party workers at the new regional centre of Sashastra Seema Bal at Digha and Nawada. He has already addressed the public in West Champaran and Purnia. Ruling out the meeting in Sasaram as part of Shah’s tour, Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary said prohibitory orders have been imposed and central forces are on standby for emergency situations.
Bihar BJP chief criticises CM Nitish Kumar
Calling it a ‘sabotage’ by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Choudhary said he is trying to find ways to keep the Union Home Minister away. “But Nitish Kumar cannot control Bihar and is not able to prevent law and order situations,” he said.
Nitish Kumar, however, alleged mischief behind communal violence in Sasaram and Biharsharif. He said he came to know about the incident at 6pm on Saturday, “I have asked my officials to fix responsibility,” he said, adding, “I am pained at this type of communal violence. It has taken place for the first time in my chief ministership. Who did it and why is being investigated.” District Magistrate of Nalanda Shashank Subhankar also claimed an outside hand in the violence and arson.
Community clashes on Friday
On Friday, two communities clashed during Shobha Yatra and five houses were set on fire and vehicles torched. There were also incidents of stone pelting at policemen and their vehicles. Reports emerging from Sasaram indicate temporary migration from violence-hit areas.
Violence erupted again on Saturday in Biharsharif with one person being killed and three sustaining bullet injuries after two groups exchanged fire.
Internet services have been suspended across several districts, including Nalanda and Rohtas. While 18 people have been arrested for clashes in Sasaram, 27 have been arrested in Nalanda.
The Divisional Commissioner and Zonal Inspector-General of Police are camping in the communally disturbed towns.
District Magistrate of Rohtas, Dharmendra Kumar, on Saturday denied Choudhary’s claims of imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144. However, officer-in-charge of Sasaram muffasil police station, Rizwan Rehman, was heard making announcements through loudspeakers.
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