Opposition parties in Bihar on Monday questioned the delay in the arrest of BJP leader Manoj Baitha whose vehicle was reportedly involved in an accident on Saturday, in which nine school children died in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.
“BJP leader Manoj Baitha, who was driving his vehicle that hit and killed nine school children, is yet to be arrested even three days after the accident,” former Deputy Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav said.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader also threatened to launch a protest in the state if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader is not arrested soon.
He demanded that a probe is conducted to establish whether Baitha, “who was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident”, was drunk or not in the “dry state of Bihar”.
On Saturday, Yadav had said: “The vehicle had a BJP board attached to it and the driver was drunk at the time of the incident. BJP leaders are totally drunk in power.”
The police had said that Baitha was present in the vehicle at the time of the accident, but he along with the driver fled and went underground after the incident.
Earlier on Monday, an FIR was lodged against Baitha over the children’s death.
“We registered an FIR against Baitha on Sunday on the basis of a complaint by Mohd. Ansari of Dharampur village, who lost five grandchildren in the tragedy on Saturday,” Station House Officer of Meenapur Police Station Sona Prasad Singh said.
Singh said raids are being conducted to arrest Baitha, but he is traceless.
On Sunday, angry villagers staged a protest by blocking the National Highway to demand Baitha’s arrest.
Ansari said in his police statement that Baitha was driving the vehicle when it mowed down the children on Saturday. Clad in a white kurta-pyjama, he fled after the vehicle hit and killed the school children, he added.
He claimed that CCTV footage also showed the BJP leader driving the vehicle.
The accident occurred near Dharampur school on NH 77 in Minapur block when a SUV hit the children while they were crossing the road.