The October 26 police lathicharge-cum-firing on Durga Puja processionists, in Munger which led to the killing of two persons and causing injuries to several others has acquired political dimension with the RJD and Congress calling for immediate action against the top civil and police officials of the district.
The matter has acquired more seriousness as the district magistrate is Rajesh Meena, while the superintendent of police is Lipi Singh. The latter is the daughter of RCP Singh, a very close associate of chief minister Nitish Kumar, and the leader of Janata Dal (United) in the Rajya Sabha. RCP Singh is himself a retired IAS and had served under Nitish both when he was the railway minister and chief minister of Bihar.
The chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav equated the police action to General Dyer’s brutal crackdown in Jalianwala Bagh in 1919 and had sought an independent investigation by a retired High Court judge. The spokesman of the Congress party Randeep Singh Surjewala called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get the Nitish Kumar-Sushil Modi government dismissed in Bihar.
Even an NDA constituent, LJP has condemned the police firing. The party chief Chirag Paswan said that the Bihar Police is notorious for such brutality.
As the police action came less than 48 hours before the first phase of election for the 71 Assembly seats it was bound to snowball into a big controversy. The Nitish Kumar government, according to political commentators, has to pay the price politically in the rest of the state too where polling is going to take place on November 3 and 7.
However, the SP Lipi Singh, justified the police action, which she said was done in self-defence as the mob had gone berserk and several cops were injured. Incidentally, Munger is represented in Lok Sabha by Lallan Singh, the leader of Janata Dal (United) in the Lok Sabha.