Bihar Police on Saturday night finally arrested the son of Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Chaube for inciting communal violence in Bhagalpur. This was after a court in Bhagalpur refused to give Arijit Shaswat any relief from his arrest in a case related to inciting communal violence.
The rejection of Shaswat’s bail plea had paved the way for his arrest by Bihar Police, which had filed an FIR against him. Last week, a case was lodged against Shashwat — a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader — on charges of taking out a procession without prior permission, inciting communal sentiments and roaming with arms on the streets of Bhagalpur.
Speaking to reporters, Additional Superintendent of Police (SP) Rakesh Dubey said, “We got information of his whereabouts and began our surveillance. Bhagalpur police were also here with an arrest warrant for Arijit. We arrested him near a police station here outside Hanuman Mandir. As per routine procedures, we will now begin interrogating him,”
A day later, defying the court’s arrest warrant, the BJP minister’s son was seen taking out an armed procession in Bhagalpur, where his supporters were seen shouting anti-Muslim slogans. His arrogant father too had cast aspersion on the law enforcing agencies by calling the FIR against his son a ‘mere piece of garbage’ and called police ‘corrupt.’
Bihar Police reports to the state government, headed by the BJP-JDU alliance.
Shashwat unsuccessfully contested the last assembly polls as the BJP candidate from Bhagalpur, considered a stronghold of Choube, who was elected MP from Buxar in 2014, reported IANS.
Bihar is on the boil and in the grip of unprecedented communal violence with as many as eight districts being severely affected by the violence caused by Hindutva terrorists, who had also attacked a mosque in Samastipur last week. The goons had also burnt the pages of The Quran while burning a part of the premise, used to provide religious education.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has come under considerable condemnation for being a mute spectator even in the face of a large-scale communal violence in the state. His silence and inability to arrest Shaswat had prompted many to ask if indeed he was in control of the state’s administration.