Days after communal tension and violence in Bihar’s Nalanda and Sasaram towns, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the “truth behind the violence” would come out soon, claiming that it was a “conspiracy”, and dubbing the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) as an “agent” of the BJP.
When asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remark, made during his recent visit to Bihar, that the “doors of BJP have been shut forever for Nitish Kumar”, Mr. Kumar asked, “Do they have any doors?” and walked away with a wry smile on his face.
“It was all a planned, well-thought-out conspiracy and the truth behind violence [of Nalanda and Sasaram] will come out soon,” the CM told media persons on the sidelines of a function in Patna.
“You all know nothing gets published in national media on what we say or do… all being controlled by them [BJP]. Now there is peace all around there [in Nalanda and Sasaram],” added Mr. Kumar.
Following the Ram Navami processions, communal tension and violence erupted in Bihar’s Sasaram and Nalanda towns, during which one person was killed in Nalanda. Several vehicles were torched and the district administration had to impose Section 144 in Nalanda town on March 25. Later, heavy patrolling was done by security forces in Sasaram to restore peace, law and order.
Restoring peace, confidence
On Wednesday, the district administration in Nalanda — which is also the CM’s home district — staged a flag march in the town to restore confidence among residents. “It is a flag march and peace march as well to maintain law and order and also restore confidence among common people for peace,” said Nalanda Superintendent of Police Ashok Mishra.
Asked whether he would be visiting Nalanda, following the communal tension and violence in his home district, Mr. Kumar said, “Since Nalanda is my home, I’ve been speaking to people from here and since everything has become normal, there is no need for me to go there.”
‘AIMIM was agent’
The CM also alleged that the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, was working for the BJP as “an agent”.
“There was no administrative laxity. Those behind the communal tension and violence will be known soon… Door to door searches are on by the district administration. It was all done by one who is ruling (at the Centre) and their agent (AIMIM),” said Mr. Kumar. “Don’t you [media persons] see, whatever we [Opposition parties] say does not get published in national newspapers, but how much coverage they (AIMIM) get?”
‘Call Central agencies’
Meanwhile, BJP legislators created pandemonium in the State assembly on Wednesday over the violence in Sasaram and Nalanda. “If the State government has any guts, let the Sasaram and Nalanda violence be probed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or NIA (National Investigation Agency),” BJP MLAs Vijay Kumar Sinha and Jibesh Mishra demanded. Mr. Mishra was later marshalled out from the House for creating a ruckus.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav also said that the communal violence was a “planned conspiracy” to fuel riots, adding that the government “will take action”.
“We’re seeing that Bihar is being targeted continuously. Earlier, an attempt was made to make Bihar fight with the people of Tamil Nadu [with fake viral videos on social media about migrant workers being attacked there] and now these communal violence. We’ll not tolerate this,” Mr. Yadav told media persons.
Mr. Kumar’s remark on the “doors of the BJP” came against the backdrop of Mr. Shah’s earlier comments. On April 2, following communal tension in Sasaram, Mr. Shah’s public meeting there was cancelled, claiming that Section 144 had been imposed, though the district administration had denied this. Later in the day, he visited Nawada and addressed a public meeting, where he reiterated strongly that the doors of the BJP have been shut forever for Mr. Kumar, to loud cheers from the gathered crowd.
Mr. Kumar has made several political turnarounds to remain Chief Minister of the State. In August 2022, his Janata Dal (United) party severed its ties with the BJP to form the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) government in Bihar, along with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, the Left parties, and others.