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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Denied nod to hold public meeting at Bhagalpur, Tejashwi sits on midnight dharna

Citing security reasons, the Bhagalpur district administration has denied permission to RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav to hold rally in Bhagalpur’s Sabour. Yadav has gone to Bhagalpur to expose the government fund transfer scam, involving an NGO.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2017 13:35 IST
Avijit Biswas
Avijit Biswas
Hindustan Times, Bhagalpur
Former deputy chief minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav is in Bhagalpur to expose the government fund transfer scam.
Former deputy chief minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav is in Bhagalpur to expose the government fund transfer scam. (PTI file photo)

The Bhagalpur district administration denied permission to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav to hold a public meeting at Sabour, prompting him to sit on a midnight dharna on Thursday.

Yadav sat on dharna for close to two hours till 3.30am before senior superintendent of police Manoj Kumar convinced him to call it off.

While denying permission to Yadav, citing security reasons, the district administration had also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, which prevents assemblage of more than four persons in the area.

The rejection came late Wednesday evening, when Yadav was on way to Bhagalpur by road. Protesting the district administration’s action, Yadav, who reached Bhagalpur at 1 am, sat on dharna for close to two hours at the Ambedkar roundabout near the Bhagalpur railway station.

President of the Bhagalpur district of the RJD, Tirupati Nath, said the district administration had rejected its request after the RJD procured permission from the school managing committee to hold the meeting on its campus.

RJD town president Salauddin Ahsan said that the party had applied for permission on August 14, but the denial came at the eleventh hour.

Defending the decision, Sabour sub-divisional officer Roshan Kushwaha said, “Yadav’s rally coincided with the Bishari puja, a local festival. Citing law and order issues, the police station concerned had expressed its inability to manage the two programmes efficiently.”

The RJD workers were also sore that Yadav, who is leader of the opposition in the Bihar legislative assembly, was not accommodated at the circuit house in Bhagalpur. Arrangements for Yadav’s stay had been made at the guest house of the Rajendra Agriculture University in Sabour. Yadav, however, preferred to stay at a private hotel.

Yadav had on August 9 embarked on a statewide ‘Janadesh Apman Yatra’ — a campaign against chief minister Nitish’s JD(U) for betrayal of public mandate — from Motihari. He is in Bhagalpur to expose the multi-crore government fund transfer scam, involving an NGO.

Working in cahoots with bankers and treasury officials, the Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti, an NGO, used to surreptitiously divert government funds into its accounts by writing its account number on the reverse side of cheques, issued by district treasuries to different government departments. The NGO also allegedly fudged bank passbooks and escaped government audit between 2007 and 2014 and continued to earn interest on principal amount.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar had unraveled the scam early this month. Since then, there has been a flurry of accusations, with RJD leader Lalu Prasad alleging a nexus between the NGO founder Manorama Devi, since dead, and the BJP. Prasad had also shown photographs of some top BJP leaders with Devi.

The RJD leader, who has been demanding a CBI probe in the scam, dared the Prime Minister to take action against deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was the finance minister of Bihar during the period of the scam. Prasad even alleged that the fodder scam, in which he has been convicted, was ‘peanuts’ given the magnitude of the government fund transfer scam, which, he said, ran into thousands of crores of rupees.

Eleven persons have so far been arrested in the Rs 700-crore scam.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 10:59 IST

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