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Section 144 imposed in Bihar’s Aurangabad after communal clash during Ram Navami

PTI | Updated: Mar 26, 2018, 09:38 PM IST

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Prohibitory orders were today clamped in Bihar’s Aurangabad town following a clash between members of two communities during Ram Navami celebrations, an official said.

People from both sides indulged in heavy stone-pelting and arson, which left several persons injured and nearly a dozen shops gutted yesterday while a Ram Navami procession was being taken out.

“We have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC. The situation in the town is tense but under control,” Aurangabad District Magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal told PTI over phone.

The issue led to a heated exchange in the Bihar Assembly where the Leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, alleged that for the past several hours riots had been taking place at Aurangabad and shops belonging to a community were being set afire and curfew had to be imposed.

Yadav made the allegations while state minister Vijender Yadav was reading out the government’s reply to the debate on the budgetary allocation for the home department.

A visibly upset chief minister rose to intervene and said the floor of the House must not be used to give publicity to rumours which could aggravate communal tensions.

Kumar said Ram Navami had passed off peacefully in Bihar “with a few exceptions” and asserted that there was no report of curfew or police firing in Aurangabad.

“If you (Tejashwi) try to give vent to rumours through the House, it vitiates the atmosphere…Please don’t do such things,” Kumar said.

“If there is any local issue and you want to make it a state-level one through the House, then it will be construed that you are willing to whip up passions… We all should try to maintain peace and amity,” the chief minister said.

Using the endearment “Babu” to address the young RJD leader more than once, Kumar told his former deputy that he has a long political career ahead of him and hence should be willing to learn.

He turned towards veteran RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who was seated beside Yadav, and was heard asking “Why does anyone not teach him (Tejashwi) some basics?”

“We all, including the DGP and the Home Secretary, are talking to the people concerned. Senior officials have been rushed to the spot to keep things under control”, he said, adding “No one will be spared”.

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