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Vehicle that killed 9 children in Bihar belongs to BJP leader, claims RJD

Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, after visiting the injured, said that the families of the victims told him that the killer vehicle belonged to the BJP leader and no arrest had been made so far.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2018 18:54 IST
Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar
Muzaffarpur, Hindustan Times
Bihar,Muzaffarpur,Nine schoolchildren killed
At least nine schoolchildren of a government middle school in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district were crushed to death by a speeding SUV when they were about to cross National Highway 77 after school on February 24, 2018.(HT Photo)

The ruling BJP and the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are in loggerheads over the owner of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that ran over nine children and injured around 20 outside their government school at Dharampur village in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Saturday.

RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav alleged on Sunday that the vehicle belongs to a BJP leader and accused the state government of trying to save the fugitive accused.

“The Nitish led government is trying to save the culprit, Manoj Baitha, as he is an active member of ruling coalition partner BJP,” alleged the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, as he demanded strict action against those responsible for the deaths.

The BJP’s district unit chief Ramsurat Rai was quick to counter that Yadav’s allegations were wrong, saying Baitha “is neither our party worker nor our leader”.

Police have registered a case against the owner and driver of the vehicle. Station house officer of Meenapur police station Sona Prasad Singh said the car belongs to Baitha, a BJP leader from Sitamarhi district, and he is at large.

Baitha was allegedly in the vehicle when the driver lost control and ran over the children. They escaped soon after. “The vehicle has a BJP sign and the name of Baitha was inscribed on it,” Singh said.

District transport officer Nazir Ahmad corroborated the police officer’s remarks. The SUV was registered in his office on September 21, 2010, in the name of Baitha, he said.

Angry over the deaths, residents vandalised the school, beat up teachers and set ablaze chairs and benches there.

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 10:12 IST