A BJP leader from Jehanabad died, allegedly during police lathi charge, while participating in a protest march by his party against the Bihar government’s teacher recruitment policy and to press for the resignation of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. Thousands of BJP workers had gathered at Patna to attend a march to the Vidhan Sabha, which was intercepted by the state police.
Vijay Kumar Singh (55), the BJP's Jehanabad district general secretary, lost his life during what is alleged to be a police lathi charge. In response, the BJP has announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh for Singh's family. Several other BJP leaders and workers, including Janardhan Singh Sigriwal and Ashok Yadav, Members of Parliament, sustained injuries while attempting to bypass police barricades on their way to the Assembly.
Bihar has been witnessing widespread protests by teachers and applicants for the 1.7 lakh teaching job vacancies. These demonstrations stem from the state cabinet's decision to eliminate the domicile clause, thereby opening up the job opportunities to applicants from all over the country. The BJP has supported these protests, and the recent show of strength was intended to urge the restoration of the domicile clause and the resignation of Tejashwi Yadav, who is facing charges in an alleged scam.
Numerous party leaders were initially detained but were later released in the evening. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi, who was among those detained, first announced the news of Singh's death. The Medical Superintendent of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), I S Thakur, confirmed the demise. However, Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Rajiv Mishra stated, "He (Singh) was found unconscious at Chajju Bagh, which is quite some distance from Dak Bungalow Chowk (where the protest and lathi charge took place). There is no external injury on his body. The exact cause of death can only be determined after a post-mortem examination."
Singh had been associated with the BJP for more than two decades. His wife, Pratima Devi, expressed to reporters, "My husband did not have any significant health issues. He died due to the excessive force used by the police. We demand a high-level investigation into the incident." Singh had traveled to Patna with over 50 party workers to participate in the march.
Sushil Kumar Modi and BJP Patliputra MP Ram Kripal Yadav announced that the party would file a case against the Patna police and organize a march from Vidhan Sabha to Raj Bhavan on Friday.
Vijay Kumar Sinha, the Leader of Opposition, stated, "We cannot accept the Patna administration's claim that Singh did not die as a result of the lathi charge... Once the government changes, the responsible officers will be held accountable."
While more than two dozen BJP workers received medical treatment at PMCH and Gardiner Hospital, approximately 50 others were attended to at the BJP office by private doctors.
Samrat Choudhary, the BJP state president, asserted, "Our party leader Vijay Kumar Singh was killed due to police brutality. This is not death but murder." Syed Shahnawaz Husaain, another party leader, remarked, "We were peacefully marching, and there was no immediate provocation for the police lathi charge. It reminds us of the days of the Emergency."
Neeraj Kumar, spokesperson for the Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)], stated that the cause of the BJP leader's death would only be determined after a post-mortem report. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav responded, saying, "The BJP's grievances against our government hold no ground because we have already provided three lakh jobs so far and will fulfill our promise of providing 10 lakh jobs within the next two years."
Source: India Today