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Bihar hit-and-run case: Suspended BJP leader ‘still absconding’, police quiz medico who treated him

An SIT, formed by the state government to probe the incident and arrest the suspended BJP leader, carried out raids at several places in Sitamarhi, Baitha’s home district, but failed to locate him.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2018 23:25 IST
Ajay Kumar Pandey
Ajay Kumar Pandey
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur
Bihar hit-and-run case,Muzaffarpur,Muzaffarpur tragedy
At least nine children of a government school in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district were crushed to death by a speeding SUV on February 24. (HT File Photo)

Four days after a speeding Bolero mowed down nine schoolchildren and injured at least 10 others in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, the accused driver-cum-owner, Manoj Baitha, the district BJP general secretary is still absconding, according to police investigating the case.

After first denying that Baitha was even a member of the BJP, the party on Monday suspended him “for six years with immediate effect”.

A special investigating team (SIT), formed by the state government to probe the incident and arrest the suspended BJP leader, carried out raids at several places on Tuesday in Sitamarhi, Baitha’s home district, but failed to locate him.

Sources in the probing team said Baitha, who was on the driver’s seat during the accident as per CCTV footage, was also injured. Few locals known to him pulled him out of the vehicle and clandestinely rushed him to a nursing home in Sitamarhi where he underwent treatment for a day before he escaped on Sunday after police began a manhunt for him, police said.

DSP, Muzaffarpur East, Gaurav Pandey, who is leading the SIT, quizzed Dr Varun, the nursing home owner, and collected various details about Baitha, whose disappearance is causing major embarrassment to the NDA government with Opposition leaders accusing it of shielding the man responsible for the deaths of nine schoolchildren.

“In dry Bihar a BJP leader under the influence of liquor kills nine innocent children. Nitishji, is this the truth of your prohibition?” Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said Baitha will not be spared and the police will arrest him sooner.

First Published: Feb 27, 2018 23:24 IST