The BJP has slapped a six-year suspension on its Bihar leader accused of running over nine schoolkids with his car in the Dharampur village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Saturday. The leader Manoj Baitha as per CCTV reports was driving the car when it spun out of control while trying to save a woman hit by a truck. All the nine schoolkids lost their lives.
The leader who has gone absconding since the incident, and has had charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder slapped against him. He as per reports escaped with his driver soon after the accident.
After the incident, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi had ordered the police to carry out the strictest action against Baitha. Modi also asserted that no mercy should be shown to those taking the life of innocents.
The party now seems to have followed up on its condemnations and has suspended Baitha from its primary membership for six years:
Muzaffarpur hit & run incident: Manoj Baitha suspended from BJP’s primary membership for 6 years. #Bihar
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2018
The Nitish Kumar government has already announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the schoolkids’ next of kin and has decided to bear the medical expenses of 24 others who have been injured in this incident.
It has been alleged that the BJP leader was intoxicated at the time of the accident, even though stringent prohibition has been imposed in the state.
Mohammed Ansari who lost five of his grandchildren in the incident filed a case against Baitha on Sunday where he alleged that the leader clad in white kurta-pyjama fled after hitting the schoolkids. He also claimed that CCTV footage proved that the BJP leader was indeed behind the wheel of the Bolero when the incident took place.
As per initial reports, this incident took place at about 1:30 PM on Saturday when the kids were returning home from the school located near NH 77. The kids mainly belonged to daily workers and marginal farmers who had been demanding that the school be relocated away from the highway.
The protesters also blocked traffic for several hours on the route and vandalised infrastructure including that of the school’s.