At least six different incidents of firing, stone pelting and attacks by Muslim mobs on Hindus carrying out processions on the festival of Saraswati Puja have been reported from Bihar & Jharkhand. One person – Amit Kumar Vishwas (aka Nand Kishore Kushwaha), JD(U)’s Sheikhpura block president – has died in these attacks while dozens more are injured, many of them critical. There are reports of police also being attacked & injured.
Amit Vishwas was killed in Sanaiya village in Ariyari police station area of Sheikhpura district on Saturday evening when a procession taking Maa Saraswati murti for visarjan (immersion) was attacked by a Muslim mob ostensibly because they wanted the procession’s band to be shut down as it passed through the Muslim-dominated locality. Vishwas was shot in the head as the mob opened fire before pelting stones, reports Dainik Bhaskar. Although Indian Express reports Vishwas died due to stone-pelting.
On Monday, the police lodged a case against eight people – Ismail Khan, Saiful Khan, Istiyaq Khan, Shehanshah Khan, Ashraf Khan, Asif Khan, Akbar Khan and Irfan Alam – for Saturday’s violence and later arrested four of them under IPC sections for murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and causing injury.
On Sunday, as JD(U) supporters were protesting Vishwas’ killing, some people partially damaged a Muslim shrine in Sheikhpura district. “Some anti-social elements, who had mingled with the supporters of the murdered JD(U) leader, had partially damaged the religious place. We have begun a probe into the incident and several miscreants have been identified through CCTV footage,” DIG, Munger, Manu Maharaj said.
Meanwhile in Patna, students of Patna college who had gone for Saraswati murti immersion after Saraswati Puja on Friday were attacked by locals of Lalbagh locality, a Muslim dominated area. Students too retaliated and exchange of gunfire, crude bombs and stones ensued for over two hours. Sub-inspector (SI), Manoj Singh sustained splinter injuries in a crude bomb explosion during the clash. Vehicles were also burnt. Times of India reports that the clash took place because students ‘provoked’ anti-CAA protestors demonstrating at Lalbagh.
In Jharkhand, 4 separate incidents of Saraswati Puja processions being attacked by Muslim mobs, mostly as the procession was passing through a Muslim locality or in front of a mosque, were reported from Vidyasagar, Kathbari, Hazaribagh and Beldiha. Two youths – Uttam Kumar Paswan and Suprabath Paswan – received serious head injuries, and there were reports of stone pelting on police as they tried to control the situation.
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