Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided not to play Holi this year, days after nine students were crushed by a Bolero car in state’s Muzaffarpur. The car was allegedly being driven by BJP leader Manoj Baitha, who has been suspended by the party. Earlier on Tuesday, former chief minister Rabri Devi alleged that liquor was not completely banned from the state and was easily available. “The government should be ashamed, there is no complete ban on liquor, it is available easily,” ANI quoted her as saying.
In 2016, the Nitish Kumar-led government implemented the new Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, to ensure a complete ban on sale and consumption of liquor in the state.
In the meantime, accused Manoj Baitha’s father Narayan Baitha, said that it was the driver and not his son who took the car from their home. “The driver took the car from here, after that, we do not know where he took it or what happened,” Narayan Baitha told the agency.
On Monday, Rabri Devi’s son and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav alleged that the person, driving the car and mowed down children was “a drunk BJP leader” whom the state government was trying to shield. Rebutting his charge, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi pointed out that police has been asked to take tough action against the accused, “irrespective of political affiliations”.
“No question of saving the person because of relations with BJP or RJD. I called Muzaffarpur SP yesterday & said strictest action should be taken. Innocent children were killed & there is no bigger crime than this,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Yadav was also quoted as saying by ANI, “Prohibition in Bihar is a farce and the ghastly incident of Muzaffarpur, where a drunk BJP leader crushed nine children to death and left more than 20 others injured, proves our point.”
He also led a march to Raj Bhawan to submit a memorandum to Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik. “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar owes an apology to the people of the state for gross failure of his administration to restrain those close to the corridors of power from flouting the prohibition law,” he was also quoted to have said.