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Communal violence: Accused BJP leaders still at large


IANS Patna
Nearly a week after an arrest warrant was issued against Union Minister Ashwini Choubey's son Arijit Shashwat, accused of inciting communal violence in Bihar's Bhagalpur district, Bihar Police has failed to arrest him.
The police have also failed to trace another BJP leader Anil Singh -- the main accused in communal violence in Aurangabad district, who managed to escape from police custody.
Both Shashwat and Singh are absconding.
Although a five-member special police team has been constituted to arrest Shashwat, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, it is yet to make any breakthrough.
"Police have been doing everything to arrest both accused," senior police officer Gupteshwar Pandey said.
Last week, a case was lodged against Shashwat for taking out a procession without prior permission, inciting communal passion and roaming on the streets with arms in Bhagalpur.
Shashwat's father Choubey has described the FIR as "a piece of garbage", which was registered by "corrupt police officers in Bhagalpur".
Shashwat unsuccessfully contested the last assembly polls as a BJP nominee from Bhagalpur, considered a stronghold of Choubey who was elected MP from Buxar in 2014.
Anil Singh, who was arrested in connection with the communal violence in Aurangabad during Ram Navami procession, escaped from police custody two days ago.
Singh, who is also associated with Hindu Seva Samiti, is said to have played the key role in incite communal passion in Aurangabad.
Ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokespersons are, however, downplaying the issue, saying there is rule of law in Bihar under Nitish Kumar and culprits or accused would not be spared.
Nitish Kumar's JD-U is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA which also comprises the Lok Janshakti Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party.
Over half-a-dozen Bihar districts, including Aurangabad, Nawada, Samastipur, Munger, Bhagalpur and Nalanda, are currently in the grip of communal tension. Additional security forces have been deployed in the affected towns.
Last week, communal tension starting from Aurangabad district during Ram Navami processions, spread to Samastipur, Munger, Nalanda, Sheikhpura and Gaya districts.
The opposition parties have slammed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for what they called his "failure to handle the situation".

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First Published: Mar 31 2018 | 6:30 PM IST

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