Clash at Durga Puja immersion sparks tension in poll-bound Bihar

Viral visuals showed police lathi-charging on a group carrying an idol, sparking anger among people

Durga immersion clash
Police claimed some "anti-social elements" threw stones at them during the immersion | Photo: Screengrab/Facebook

Day before assembly elections, tension has engulfed the Munger city in Bihar. The city last night witnessed an unforgettable Durga Puja immersion – of bullets and lathicharges. An 18-year-old died while scores of others, including several policemen, were injured in the clash.

Viral visuals showed police lathi-charging on a group carrying a Durga idol, sparking anger among locals and spreading it evenly before a much-waited election.

However, according to NDTV, police claimed some “anti-social elements” threw stones at them during the immersion and accused the group of delaying the process. A row over this between police and the group led to lathicharge. The police even opened fire, reports say.

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Reports quoted Munger Superintendent of Police Lipi Singh as saying that 20 policemen were injured in the stone-pelting by some “anti-social elements”. She said that someone fired from the crowd, leading to the death of one person.

According to Hindustan Times, the situation was brought under control around 1 am and to do so, the entire police force of the district was routed to the spot. Even the Bihar Military Police and paramilitary forces were also later deployed in the affected areas.

Three pistols and bullets were also found from the spot, suggest reports quoting an official. The unnamed official further said that it was an attempt to falsely accuse the police.

Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan has tweeted slamming the Munger Police over the incident. Demanding murder charges against them and suspension of the SP, he slammed the Nitish Kumar government with the Taliban. He also demanded ₹50 lakh compensation and a government job as compensation for the victim.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi has said the incident should be investigated by the Election Commission.

Related news: Despite rise in women voters, representation in Bihar assembly low

The Munger assembly constituency is represented by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). This time RJD’s Avinash Kumar Vidyarthi will fight for the seat against BJP’s Pranav Kumar Yadav and other candidates of the RLSP, BSP, NCP and other parties.

The Bihar election will be held in three phases – October 28, November 3 and 7 – and the results will be declared on November 10. Elections in Munger will be held in the first phase.

Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) is fighting the elections in a coalition with the BJP; Chirag Paswan’s LJP has decided to fight it alone this time. In the Opposition camp, Congress and RJD are fighting together.

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