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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

215 arrested after Bihar communal violence, says DGP

For the past fortnight, a series of communal clashes have rocked Bihar. Eleven of the state’s 38 districts were hit by violence before the police got a grip on the situation.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2018 21:42 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Anti-social elements indulge in arson during a clash between two groups during Ram Navami procession in Aurangabad district.
Anti-social elements indulge in arson during a clash between two groups during Ram Navami procession in Aurangabad district. (HT PHOTO)

The Bihar police have so far registered 15 cases and arrested over 215 people in connection with communal violence that rocked the state over the last fortnight, director general of police KS Dwivedi said on Saturday.

Communal violence, which broke out during Ram Navami procession at Nathnagar block in Bhagalpur district on March 17, engulfed 11 of the 38 districts in Bihar by March 30.

“Attempts were made to disturb communal peace in some areas. However, the police acted effectively with the help of central forces and locals to control the situation,” Dwivedi said.

Communal clashes were reported from Bhagalpur, Siwan, Aurangabad, Gaya, Kaimur, Samastipur, Munger, Jamui, Sheikhpura, Nalanda and Nawada. The last of the clashes was reported from Nawada when miscreants vandalised an idol of lord Hanuman idol on Friday.

The district administration took out a Sadbhavna rally (peace march) in Munger on Saturday to restore peace. Communal clashes had broken out in the district headquarters on March 28.

Participants in the peace march held banners and placards, conveying messages of communal harmony and brotherhood. The administration also sought cooperation from the public in helping the police identify anti-social elements fomenting trouble.

The Bihar police had deployed over 300 personnel of the special branch to identify those fanning communal tension in Aurangabad.

The police registered nine FIRs against 200 people in Aurangabad, including BJP district spokesperson Ujjawal Kumar, RJD district president Mohammad Yusuf. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, rioting and unlawful assembly, outraging religious feelings and violating provisions of the arms Act.

Violence in Aurangabad was triggered when miscreants pelted stones on a Ram Navami procession passing through Nawadih colony on March 25. Over 45 people and some policemen were injured in the stone pelting.

According to the police, nearly 70 shops were torched by rioters and more than 90 shopkeepers were affected by the riots.

However, no death has been reported in any of the communal clashes so far.

On Saturday, a local court rejected the bail plea of Union minister Ashwini Choubey’s son Arijit Shashwat, accused of inciting communal violence in Bhagalpur district. Shahwat has been on the run since the police filed a case against him last week.

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 21:41 IST

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