Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary on May 3 slammed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after being denied permission to meet party leader Jawahar Prasad in Sasaram jail of Rohtas district.
Mr. Prasad has been arrested in a case related to communal violence in Sasaram town last month following Ram Navami processions. The five-time former Sasaram MLA was denied a ticket in the 2020 Assembly election.
On Wednesday, Mr. Choudhary visited Sasaram jail to meet Mr. Prasad but prison authorities denied him permission. The BJP state chief, along with BJP workers, then rode a bicycle for 5 km to reach the Rohtas District Magistrate office, where a dharna was organised.
Without naming don-turned-politician Anand Mohan, whose premature release has created a controversy, Mr. Choudhary said, “Nitish Kumar ji is releasing goons and arresting saints. The man [Mr. Prasad] behind bars now is over 70 years old and is constantly engaged in prayer. The Chief Minister does not want good governance. Jail authorities did not allow me to meet Jawahar Prasad ji and I strongly condemn this.”
One person died and over a dozen were injured in the violence following Ram Navami processions in the town. Mr. Prasad is accused of mobilising a mob which pelted stones at members of other communities. Apart from Sasaram, communal violence also flared up in Nalanda and other places of the State. A rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah scheduled on April 2 was cancelled.
Mr. Choudhary alleged the district administration did not put in place adequate security arrangements during the processions which led to the violence. He held Chief Minister Kumar responsible for it.
“One and only Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is responsible for the communal violence, be it in Sasaram or other districts. He is engaging in politics of appeasement by sending innocent people to jail. We will fight this battle according to the Constitution and will not allow this government to trouble innocent people. In the upcoming Lok Sabha election, Nitish Kumar ji will be zero,“ Mr. Choudhary said.
He further said if BJP forms the government, no criminals “would be seen on the roads” of Bihar. He accused the State of giving stepmotherly treatment to BJP.
Later, Mr. Choudhary met the family of Rajesh Choudhary, who died in the communal violence in Sasaram. He is also scheduled to visit Bihar Sharif on May 5 to meet the family of teenager Gulshan Kumar who was killed in the violence there.
Senior leaders of the party including Sasaram MP Chhedi Paswan, MLCs Pramod Chandravanshi and Nivedita Singh, and district president Sushil Kumar, among others, participated in the meeting.
Asked about not allowing Mr. Choudhary to meet the jailed BJP leader, Sasaram Jail Superintendent Rakesh Kumar said, “As per the Bihar Prison Manual-2012, relatives or friends can meet a prisoner only once a week and BJP MLC Ms. Singh had already met Mr. Prasad this week. So there is no question of another meeting.”