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Bihar BJP chief's house vandalised; he claims attackers not army aspirants

Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal's residence in Bettiah town was vandalised on Friday during protests against the Agnipath recruitment scheme, the second incident of attack on party leaders' houses

Bihar government | Mob violence | BJP

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Smoke billows out from a passenger train coach after it was set on fire by protestors during a protest against
Smoke billows out from a passenger train coach after it was set on fire by protestors during a protest against "Agnipath scheme" for recruiting personnel for armed forces, in Secunderabad in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India, June 17, 2022

Bihar president Sanjay Jaiswal's residence in Bettiah town was vandalised on Friday during protests against the Agnipath army recruitment scheme, the second such incident of attack on senior party leaders' houses in the state during the day.

A mob had earlier in the day attacked the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi in the same town in Paschim Champaran district, although the senior leader was away in Patna.

Speaking to reporters in Bettiah, Jaiswal, the local MP, however, claimed that he has identified many of the attackers who were "not army aspirants" and that they had come with the intention of "blowing up" the building.

"My house here was attacked as part of a planned conspiracy. Stones were hurled and attempts were made to set it ablaze by pouring diesel. A cylinder bomb (contraption made of LPG cylinders) has also been left behind by the mob which clearly had the intention of blowing up the building," he said.

Jaiswal, who has been a trenchant critic of the Nitish Kumar government in the state despite his party being an alliance partner, rued "lack of sufficient alertness on part of the administration".

"However, CCTV cameras are installed at my home. The administration is examining these and hopefully it will take appropriate action. I was myself inside the house and I have identified at least 100 of the attackers. I must add none of them was an army aspirant," said Jaiswal, without elaborating.

Earlier, Devi's house in the town was also vandalised by a mob although she was away in Patna.

"It is the handiwork of opposition-sponsored goons. Aggrieved students would not target leaders," Devi had alleged, citing the vandalisation of a petrol pump owned by a close relative of Jaiswal.

Notably, the vehicle of BJP MLA Vinay Bihari was also attacked in adjoining Motihari town during the day.

The MLA escaped unhurt but the car was badly damaged. The BJP office in Madhepura district has also been set afire by protesting mobs.

On the previous day, the party's office was torched in Nawada where an MLA, Aruna Devi, also got injured when her car was pelted with stones.

Jaiswal blamed the unrest on rumours against the new scheme of recruitment in armed forces "which provides youngsters with many opportunities as upon discharge they will be armed with skills acquired during military training".

"It has already been announced that they will be given preference in recruitments by central paramilitary forces. Many states have offered the same in police. In Bihar, the system of SAP (special armed police) is already there which comprises ex-servicemen. There have been similar systems in armed forces across the world. India, too, has had the Short Services Commission," said Jaiswal.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, June 17 2022. 18:33 IST