Communal Riot Instigated by BJP in Bagaha in Bihar

This year again BJP tried to instigate communal riots in East and West Champaran districts on the day of Nag Panchami. On 21 August rioting was engineered in Bagaha of West Champaran by the Sangh outfits in the name of religious procession while a similar attempt was made in Papra of East Champaran the same day. Virendra Gupta, CPIML MLA from Sikta, went to affected areas with a team for investigation. He said this was an organised and premeditated riot for which the preparations were going on for many months. The BJP is desperately trying to communally polarise the society in Bihar in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and any such attempt must be foiled. He has demanded to investigate the role of the officials who tacitly supported the communal elements otherwise rioters would not have succeeded to this extent.
The religious procession changed its permitted route but the administration and police officials did not intervene resulting in rioting. The team visited riot affected people in Ansari Tola and Ratan Mala and found the following facts:

1. The RSS and BJP leaders including the chairman of Nagar Parishad were directly involved in instigating riots and locals were living under fear of an imminent communal frenzy. But the police remained silent, raising suspicion of their tacit alliance with the communal elements.

2. The procession went away from the route decided by the administration but there was no adequate police force at Ratan Mala. Moreover, only two police persons were present at Ansari Tala.

3. A rumour of desecration of a statue of Hanuman was spread and processionists were diverted from Bagaha-2 to Bagaha-1. This was deliberately done.

4. The rioters' attack continued for three hours at Ratanmala and Ansari Tola resulting in looting and damage of property. Dozens of shops and houses were damaged, cash was looted, rioters hadn’t spared belongings like refrigerators, motorbikes, even electricity metres and chairs.

5. Terrified people hid themselves to safety. The rioters even looted foodgrains and other stocked food items.

Hundreds of families in other localities like Mastan Tola fled to safer places mostly to their relatives at other places. The police could do nothing. The atmosphere of terror is still prevailing and life has not come to normal at the time of the visit of the team.

Some kachhi shops in Malpurva were damaged too. Many journalists and some police persons were also beaten up. The mobile phones of two journalists were snatched.

An attempt was also made in Narkatiaganj to perpetrate a similar riot but that was somehow foiled with police promptness.

The CPIML has demanded strong action against rioters and conspirators and their immediate arrests along with action on police officials whose role was found suspicious. Party has also demanded compensation from the government for the damaged properties and looted belongings. Comrade Virendra Gupta has appealed to the people to maintain peace and remain alert.