The Bihar government has not written any offending or intimidating letter to the Maharashtra police after the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested an Azad Maidan rioter in north Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, Home Minister R.R. Patil clarified on Tuesday.

The police of both States had “excellent” relations, he said, in an attempt to end the controversy, which was fuelled further by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Media reports had earlier said the Bihar Chief Secretary had shot off a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, registering Bihar’s “displeasure” at not being taken into confidence after a teenage rioter who had allegedly desecrated the Amar Jawan memorial during the August 11 riots near the Azad Maidan was picked up last week in Sitamarhi. “The only letter [we] received was one written by the Bihar Director-General of Police and addressed to the Mumbai Police Commissioner…, merely citing the technical and procedural provisions in the event of such operations,” Mr. Patil said.

“Some political personalities here are bent on making a mountain of a molehill over this letter…This petty politicking must stop,” he said, referring indirectly to the virulent remarks made against Bihari migrants by Mr. Raj Thackeray.

Mr. Patil was non-committal on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s statement that the Congress-NCP government was refusing to act against Mr. Thackeray for his anti-Bihar remarks.

The MNS leader kicked up a controversy, threatening to brand “every immigrant from Bihar an infiltrator” and send him packing from Maharashtra if the Bihar government attempted to impede the Mumbai Crime Branch’s probe into the riots.