The ongoing spate of killings in Bihar since the start of the month claimed a high-profile victim on Friday when BJP state vice-president Bisheshwar Ojha was gunned down near Ara in Bhojpur district in south-central Bihar.
Ojha was shot in public by assailants who pumped nearly a dozen bullets into him. The incident came within hours of the discovery of the body of another BJP activist, Kedar Singh, in Taraiya-Masrakh area of Saran district in north Bihar.
Opposition BJP gave a 72-hour ultimatum to the state government to arrest Ojha’s killers. Party state president Mangal Pandey said chief minister Nitish Kumar was reviewing the law and order situation with the police brass almost everyday but without any tangible result.
“These reviews are a mere eyewash,” Pandey said.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the two killings showed that the “situation has got out of control of the government”.
“Doesn’t the spate of killings in the past few days remind people of the situation in the 1990s?” asked LJP state president Ramvilas Paswan. He was alluding to the questionable law and order situation during the tenures of now RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his wife, Rabri Devi.
“It’s a mockery of claims of rule of law in Bihar,” he said.
The incidents left the ruling JD (U) on the defensive.
JD(U) state spokesman Neeraj Kumar said the police were investigating the matter and the “Anti-socials killed Ojha, the husband of former Shahpur MLA Munni Devi,” Kumar said, refuting BJP leaders’ claim it was a “political killing”. He recalled the JD (U) and BJP were allies in 2011 when BJP MLA Rajkishore Keshri was killed — the BJP then had not called it a political killing.
JD(U) president Bashishtha Narain Singh was not available for comments.