Central ministers Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan joined hands with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure safety of Biharis in Maharashtra while they condemned Monday's killing of a Patna youth in Mumbai.
“Bihari people are being targeted in Maharashtra. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray should be booked for sedition,” said Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad after meeting the prime minister along with Nitish Kumar and Paswan.
The all-party delegation urged the prime minister to ensure safety of Biharis in Maharashtra, especially during next week's Chhath festival.
Thackeray's supporters have been targetting migrant workers from outside Maharashtra, especially from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. On Oct 18, many candidates from Bihar appearing for a railway recruitment examination were attacked allegedly by MNS activists and one youngster from Patna was killed.
The delegation met the prime minister hours after Rahul Raj, a gun-toting 25-year-old from Patna, was shot dead by the police in a Mumbai city bus. He was killed after he fired in the air, according to the police.
All three Bihar leaders criticised the killing.
“From the TV clippings, it seemed that he could easily have been overpowered and arrested by the police instead of shooting him down," Nitish Kumar told reporters.
He said the prime minister had assured them of taking up the matter with Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Added Lalu Prasad: “This is a brutal murder and not an encounter. We have asked for a judicial probe into the matter. The prime minister has assured us that he'll take proper action in the matter.”
He also criticised Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil who justified the police action.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan said: “The action taken by the police was not right. We also want the Election Commission to derecognise MNS and charge Thackeray under section 302 (of the Indian Penal Code, dealing with murder).”
“The prime minister agreed with us and appreciated our efforts to restore peace in Bihar. But today's incident should be taken seriously because the Bihari youth are very agitated with the Maharashtra police's action,” added Paswan.