Even as authorities battled hard to restore peace, communal clashes spread to yet another district in Bihar on Friday, leaving the ruling Nitish Kumar government in a critical situation. So far, nine districts are reported to be reeling under communal tension in the state.
Communal clashes broke out in Nawada, a south Bihar district, on Friday after the idol of a Hindu deity was found to be damaged. Police said rival sides resorted to brick-throwing which ultimately resulted in an angry mob setting afire many shops and vehicles.
Keeping in view the sensitivity of the situation, anti-riot forces have been deployed in the troubled pockets in large numbers while regular patrolling is on. The local administration has also banned internet services and urged the masses to be wary of controversial posts.
“It was a matter of an idol being vandalised by some miscreants which led to the two communities coming face to face, but the situation is under control now,” the local Nawada district magistrate Kaushal Kumar told the media on Friday.
The communal tension which first broke out in Bhagalpur on March 17 has now spread to various districts, such as Aurangabad, Samastipur, Kaimur, Siwan, Munger, Sheikhpura, Nalwada and Nalanda, indicating the seriousness of the situation. At most of the places, tension has broken out after the rival communities played instigating songs or raised provocative slogans.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has issued a stern warning to rioters saying he would deal with them firmly and claiming he was ready to pay any price. “Nitish Kumar never compromises on the law and order and for this we are willing to pay any price,” ruling Janata Dal United lawmaker and party general secretary Shyam Rajak told the media on Friday.
But former deputy chief minister and Leader of Opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Yadav launched a massive attack on the chief minister for going soft towards the troublemakers. He also slammed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), BJP’s ideological fountainhead, for disturbing communal harmony in the state.
“RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently came to Bihar for 14 days during which he gave training on how to incite riots during Ram Navami. Now people are getting to know about the agenda of his Bihar visit,” alleged Tejashwi.
He charged the BJP with indulging in communal violence to divert attention of the masses from the issue of unemployment.