After communal tension, Bihar officials seek calm

Patna, March 28 ; Authorities in Bihar on Wednesday appealed for calm after communal tension gripped parts of the state during Ram Navami celebrations.

Munger District Magistrate Uday Kumar Singh said he had urged people to ignore rumours and maintain peace.

"The district administration is keeping a close watch on the activities of anti-social elements to keep the situation under control," he told the media.

Samastipur District Magistrate Parnav Kumar said a peace committee meeting comprising people from both communities was organised on Wednesday in a bid to bring communal tensions in Rosera under check.

Additional security forces were deployed in sensitive areas and senior police officials camped and supervised in Rosera in Samastipur as well as in Aurangabad and Munger districts.

"Hundreds of additional security forces have been deployed in Rosera. Two battalions of Rapid Action Force were called in. Police are patrolling the town and Internet services have been suspended to check rumours," Samastipur Superintendent of Police Dipak Ranjan said.

Over 100 persons, including police personnel, were injured and dozens of shops and vehicles were torched over the last three days of stray violence.

According to reports, trouble started on Sunday in Aurangabad when some local leaders from a particular party spread rumours that some persons allegedly stoned a Ram Navmi procession. Similar reports came from Rosera too on Monday.

Communal tension gripped Munger district on Tuesday night following violent clashes during immersion of Goddess Durga idols.

Bihar Rural Works Minister Shailesh Kumar has also appealed for peace.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has been attacking Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for allegedly failing to thwart communal trouble.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has demanded the arrest of Union Minister Ashwani Choubey's son Arijit Shashwat for allegedly stoking communal passion in Bhagalpur.

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Bihar, Ashwani Choubey is a Minister of State in the Modi government.

Last week, a case was lodged against BJP leader Shashwat for taking out a procession without prior permission, inciting communal sentiments and roaming on the streets with weapons.



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