The BJP today suspended party worker Manoj Baitha, who has been accused of mowing down nine children while driving an SUV in an inebriated state in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar on Saturday. At least nine children were killed and about 20 injured when the speeding vehicle lost control and ploughed through them outside a government school building on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur on Saturday. “Manoj Baitha, a district level worker of Sitamarhi, has been suspended from the primary membership of the party for a period of six years,” BJP’s Bihar unit vice-president Devesh Kumar said. Muzaffarpur district president Subodh Singh has sent a communication to this effect to the party’s state headquarters here, Kumar told PTI.
About reports that a banner fixed on that vehicle described Baitha’s designation in the party as state secretary general of Mahadalit Prakoshth, Kumar said, “No such post exists in the organisation. The worker appears to have fabricated it.” The police have registered an FIR against Baitha on the complaint of a local who lost his granddaughter in the incident. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said the police were directed to take “sternest possible action” against Baitha irrespective of his political affiliations.
The opposition RJD has accused the Nitish Kumar government of trying to shield Baitha and alleged that the BJP worker was “drunk” while behind the steering wheel even though sale and consumption of alcohol is banned in the state.