Opposition questions Nitish Kumar over how Bajrang Dal unfurled saffron flags at Hindu shops in Bihar

Mohd Imran Khan

Patna: A day after the Hindu right wing Bajrang Dal members unfurled saffron flags at some vegetable, fruit and ration shops belonged to Hindus in Bihar’s Nalanda district and also appealed Hindus to purchase such stuffs either from the shops where saffron flags are unfurled or owned by the Hindus, opposition RJD and Left parties have targeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for giving free hands to such outfit to keep his ruling ally BJP happy.

RJD senior leader Bhai Virendra said unfurling of saffron flags at shops selling fruits and vegetables and urging Hindu to purchase only from shops with saffron flags was a move to spread hatred and create communal trouble in Nitish Kumar’s home district of Nalanda during lock down. “When everyone is doing their bit to fight spread of Coronavirus pandemic, Bajrang Dal is doing everything to polarise society. This is for Nitish Kumar to explain to the people as to how Bajrang Dal did it,” Bhai Virendra said.

The state government of NDA led by Nitish Kumar should have to ensure that such act should not be repeated by communal outfit in the state. “This has exposed Nitish Kumar’s repeated claim of not making any compromise with communalism. How come Bajrang Dal is challenging him openly now,” he further said.

CPI (M) leader Arun Kumar Mishra said Nitish Kumar should reply on this issue because it is a move to divide markets or economy in the name of religion by playing Hindu card by Bajrang Dal, which has close association with BJP. “Why Bajrang Dal chose Nalanda, which is considered a strong hold of Nitish Kumar. It is for him to say whether Bajrang Dal is active without support of ruling BJP”.

It was reported that some Bajrang Dal members have unfurled saffron flags at some shops in Bihar Sharif and urging Hindus to purchase only from shops with flags.

Taking note of it, district police have lodged an FIR against two Bajrang Dal members and five others in this connection.

According to district police officials, Bihar Sharif Block Development Officer (BDO) Rajiv Ranjan has lodged the FIR on April 20 at the Laheri police station against two local Bajrang Dal members, Kundan Kumar and Dheeraj Kumar, along with five other unidentified persons.

In the FIR, it was mentioned that there was a strong possibility that communal harmony may be disturbed or communal tension may be created with their act… after investigation it was also found that on a social site at Twitter handle @RahulPrince1432 (account deactivated now) such things have been mentioned and pictures of saffron flags being unfurled at shops have been released by these members of Nalanda Bajrang Dal.

CPI(ML) leader Kunal said that with next Bihar Assembly polls later this year, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and BJP are doing everything to polarise the society and Chief Minister is helpless to do anything. “Why BJP’s Yuva Morcha leader of Nalanda is supporting Bajrang Dal leaders after police booked them. Will government take action against them or will keep BJP happy by ignoring them?” he asked.

Kanchan Bala, an activist fighting against communal forces in the state, said communal outfits like Bajrang Dal and VHP have spread their network and strengthened their roots in Bihar in the last  decades since Nitish Kumar came to power. “In last one and half year, Bajrang Dal was allegedly involved in creating communal polarization across the state but the state government hardly acted against it to keep ruling BJP happy,” she said.

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