One killed as BJP, RJD workers clash day after Bihar polling

Shots fired in the aftermath of an election-day fight between RJD and BJP supporters in Saran; two persons held; Internet suspended for two days

Updated - May 23, 2024 08:19 pm IST

Published - May 21, 2024 10:35 pm IST - Patna

Rohini Acharya, RJD candidate from Saran Lok Sabha seat, meets a man injured in post-poll violence at the Patna Medical College and Hospital on May 21, 2024.

Rohini Acharya, RJD candidate from Saran Lok Sabha seat, meets a man injured in post-poll violence at the Patna Medical College and Hospital on May 21, 2024. | Photo Credit: Sachin

One person was killed and one left injured after a clash broke out between supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the Saran Lok Sabha constituency on May 21.

To maintain peace in the area, Saran Police have suspended Internet service for 48 hours and also detained people responsible for inciting the post-poll violence.

In the Saran seat, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya was up against BJP candidate Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The tension erupted on May 20 when voting was held in Saran in the fifth phase. During the voting, Ms. Acharya visited polling booth 118 located at Bhikhari Thakur Chowk, where she got engaged in an argument with a few people.

Some residents had alleged that Ms. Acharya was misbehaving with the voters. However, after she left the place, a clash broke out between two groups during which they hurled stones at each other and several got injured.

On May 21 morning, the police said a person opened fire during a clash between RJD and BJP supporters at Bhikhari Thakur Chowk near Bada Telpa Primary School. In the firing, one died on the spot and another died while undergoing treatment at the government hospital in Saran. A third person was referred to Patna Medical College and Hospital for further treatment. The deceased were identified as Chandan Yadav and Guddu Rai.

“Tuesday’s firing by some anti-social elements is the reaction to stone pelting which took place on Monday between the supporters of two parties. Of the three who received bullet injuries, two died and one has been sent to the hospital for treatment. The force is continuously camping at the place where the shooting happened on Tuesday. To maintain peace we have decided to suspend the Internet service for two days, “ Saran Superintendent of Police (SP) Gaurav Mangla said.

He further said, “We are urging everyone to maintain peace in the area and we have detained two people in the case. We will arrest all those who are responsible for inciting the crowd.”

Reacting on the firing incident, Ms. Acharya alleged that the BJP is trying to murder the democracy. “The BJP is murdering the democracy and it is afraid of losing the election. Our three workers have been shot and two have died. FIRs should be lodged against all the goons of the BJP,” Ms. Acharya said.

Asked about inspecting the polling booth on May 20, she said, “As a candidate, I have every right to visit the polling booth to check whether election was conducted properly. I did not go to capture the booth. There were some BJP goons sitting outside the polling booth. When I questioned about their presence, they started abusing me. They were carrying stones and sticks, an attempt was made to kill me, but luckily nothing happened to me.”

Correction: Saran District Magistrate Aman Samir clarified on May 22 that only one person died in the violence, and not two as reported earlier.
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