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Bhagalpur riots: Case is fabricated, alleges Union Minister Ashwini Choubey’s son Arijit Shashwat

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Patna | Published: March 26, 2018 5:05:56 PM

Arijit Shashwat, son of Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, booked in the communal violence in Bhagalpur recently, today accused the police of having registered a “fabricated” case against him under political pressure.

Bhagalpur riots, Arijit Shashwat, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Nathnagar clashes, Bhagalpur assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, nitish kumarClashes had erupted after a procession, led by Shashwat and taken out on the occasion of the new year as per Hindu calendar, passed through Nathnagar which is heavily populated by a minority community. (ANI)

Arijit Shashwat, son of Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, booked in the communal violence in Bhagalpur recently, today accused the police of having registered a “fabricated” case against him under political pressure. He further questioned why no action was taken, so far, against “miscreants belonging to one particular community” in connection with the episode. A Bhagalpur court had issued an arrest warrant on Saturday against Shashwat and nine others named in one of the two FIRs filed in connection with the violence that broke out on March 17 wherein a number of persons, including two police personnel, were injured.

“The case that has been lodged is not related to incitement of violence. Moreover, the clash that broke out was a result of the SHO of Nathnagar and the Deputy SP concerned acting as per the directions of the Bhagalpur MLA”, Shashwat alleged before reporters here. Although Shashwat did not name anybody, the Bhagalpur assembly segment is represented by Ajeet Sharma of the Congress, who won the seat in the 2015 elections, defeating Shashwat in the constituency that was his father’s stronghold.

Notably, Sharma had last week moved an adjournment motion in the state assembly over the issue of Nathnagar clashes which was backed by the main opposition RJD and led to stalling of proceedings of the House for the day. “Till now, the administration has not been able to touch miscreants belonging to one particular community who were involved in opening fire at policemen, hurling bombs, setting shops on fire and misbehaving with women on their way home after taking a holy dip in the river Ganges”, Shashwat alleged.

Clashes had erupted after a procession, led by Shashwat and taken out on the occasion of the new year as per Hindu calendar, passed through Nathnagar which is heavily populated by a minority community. Replying to a query, Shashwat said “why should I surrender. I am not a fugitive. I am here, at my residence. The Bhagalpur unit of the BJP has made up its mind to oppose, tooth and nail, the fabricated case lodged against the party’s workers”.

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav launched a frontal attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the issue, charging him with running his government “in constant fear of the BJP” “It is startling that the police is unable to arrest a person who is talking to the media just a few hundred metres away from the Chief Minister’s residence. Moreover, Choubey has made disparaging remarks against the administration while defending his son. This is a clear indication of Kumar’s diminished standing as the Chief Minister of Bihar”, Yadav told reporters outside the state assembly.

“The Chief Minister is wary of facing the people on the issue which is why he did not attend the House today. I would have loved to ask him what explanation he has…..so fond has he been of explanations”, the former Bihar Deputy CM said in an obvious dig at Kumar’s exit from the Grand Alliance last year citing Yadav’s inability to give an explanation regarding the corruption cases lodged against him. Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters), S K Singhal said “adequate action will be taken against all those who have been named in the FIRs at Bhagalpur. The police had its hands full because of the festive season, but now there will be action”.

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