BJP To Seek Judicial Probe Into Police Action On Protesters In Patna

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The BJP on Saturday asserted that the “state-sponsored and brutal” police action on its procession in the Bihar capital earlier this week warranted a judicial inquiry and intervention of the National Human Rights Commission.

A four-member fact-finding team constituted by BJP national president J P Nadda stated this in Patna, as it met several party activists, who sustained injuries in the police action on June 13 and are undergoing treatment at hospitals.

The team members also include former Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das and Members of Parliament Manoj Tiwari, Sunita Duggal and Vishnu Dayal Ram.

Mr Duggal alleged that women BJP workers were “hit with lathis on their chests and heads by male police personnel” on Thursday when the party was staging a “Vidhan Sabha march” in protest against the Nitish Kumar government’s teacher recruitment policy.

Mr Tiwari, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Delhi but has his roots in Bihar, claimed “771 BJP workers” were injured in the incident and “some of them were chased all the way to hospitals and thrashed inside the premises”.

The team members alleged that the incident reminded them of “Jallianwala Bagh massacre” and wondered whether “hired goons were donning police uniforms”.

“We will submit a report on our investigation to the national president and strongly recommend a judicial inquiry,” said the panel members, who replied in the affirmative when asked whether they would also approach the NHRC with the request to look into the matter.

“Our state president Samrat Choudhary will pursue the matter with NHRC,” said the members, who spoke with the Bihar unit chief seated by their side.

The panel alleged that rules were not followed in use of water cannons, tear gas shells and lathicharge, and claimed BJP workers, whom they spoke to, have insisted that it was they at whom chilli powder was thrown, and not the other way round.

About the controversy surrounding the death of Jehanabad district general secretary Vijay Singh, the team members expressed dismay at the local administration in Patna “giving a clean chit” to itself even before the post-mortem report.

Meanwhile, Neeraj Kumar, chief spokesman of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), questioned the fact-finding team’s failure to meet the bereaved family members of Mr Singh.

“They could not take the trouble to visit the home of the deceased, barely 50 km from Patna. It speaks volumes about the BJP’s apathy towards its own workers,” alleged Neeraj Kumar.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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