A day after Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh was shot dead, Bihar continued to burn like never before.
Nitish appeals to people to maintain peace
Singh had been shot dead by unidentified assailants on Friday while he was out on his morning walk. Founder of the long defunct private army of landlords, Singh had masterminded several bloody massacres and named in 22 cases.
Soon after the murder, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar appealed for calm and said investigations were underway to trace the killers. On Saturday, the state was put on a high-alert after enraged Sena supporters went on a rampage.
Singh's funeral cortege left Ara town at 9am on Saturday morning. To begin with, there were 500 people and about 50 vehicles tailing the hearse. As the procession headed out for Bans Ghat in Patna more and more people joined in.
Sena supporters stopped at Bihta, Danapur and Saguna More throwing traffic out of gear. They also blocked roads at several places between Ara and Patna.
At Bihta, state BJP president C P Thakur, who had joined the procession from Ara, was pulled out of his vehicle and beaten up and his vehicle smashed.
By the time the procession reached Patna there was a lakh people and thousand of vehicles big and small. Sena supporters went berserk. They smashed vehicles, attacked the Income Tax Bhawan, banks and shopping complexes, and completely took over the streets. Amidst cries of Brahmeshwar Mukhia amar rahen, they targetted government hoardings at major intersections including photographs of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The police were not spared either. A check post was burnt, and police personnel chased and stoned. The angry mob turned on legislators, mediapersons and common people as well.
Former MP, Akhilesh Singh and Congressman, Lallan Kumar were manhandled for briefing the press at the cremation site.
The extent of the capitulation was underlined, when the police was ordered to check the mob, but received a counter order at around 5.30 pm.