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Bhagalpur Riots: Union minister's son Arijit Shashwat arrested

Sunday April 1, 2018 10:24 AM, & Agencies

Arijit Shashwat

Patna: Bihar police late in the night on Saturday arrested Arijit Shashwa, son of Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey from Patna. Arijit Shashwa is accused of leading a procession which led to communal clashed in Bhagalpur.

A case was filed and arrest warrants issued against Arijit Shashwat soon after the violence in Bhagalpur on March 17. The arrest came days after opposition parties led by RJD accused the Nitish government of shielding Arijit Shashwat because of political pressure.

While Arijit Shashwat had himself refused to surrender, his father and Union Minister Ashwini Choubey called the FIR against his son as "nothing but a piece of garbage which was registered by corrupt officers of the area." Much to the embarassment of his political bosses, he even said he was proud of his son for leading the procession which led to the communal clashes in Bhagalpur.

He was eventually arrested from Patna after the violence spread to other parts of Bihar.

"We got information of his whereabouts and began our surveillance. Bhagalpur Police were also here with an arrest warrant. We arrested him near a police station outside Hanuman Mandir in Patna," Additional Superintendent of Police (SP) Rakesh Dubey told reporters. The BJP leader has been taken to Bhagalpur where he will be produced in a court Sunday.

Arijit Shashwat has political ambitions and had unsuccessfully contested the last state election as the BJP candidate from Bhagalpur. The BJP and its leaders on various occasions in the past have been accused of staging communal clashes for polarization of votes and build political career.

Communal clashes erupted in Bhagalpur’s Medini Chowk, a Muslim-dominated area under Nathnagar police station, on Saturday when the motorcycle rally led by Ashwini Kumar Choubey’s son Arijit Shashwat passed through the area.

Days later communal violence spread to Aurangabad, Samastipur, Nalanda and other parts of Bihar. The opposition parties are accusing Nitish Kumar of being helpless and unable to rein in the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who are resorting to communal riots after facing the humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections.

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