PATNA: The Bihar Police on Sunday filed an FIR was lodged against BJP leader Manoj Baitha for the death of nine school children in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, police said on Monday.
Moh Ansari of Dharampur village, who lost five grandchildren in the tragedy on Saturday, had filed the complaint.
Ansari said in his police statement that Baitha was driving the vehicle when the speeding vehicle mowed down the children on Saturday. Clad in a white cotton kurta-pyjama, he fled after the vehicle hit and killed the school children, he added.
Ansari said a closed-circuit television footage also showed the BJP leader driving the vehicle.
“We have registered an FIR against Baitha on Sunday on the basis of a complaint by Moh Ansari of Dharampur village, who lost five grandchildren in the tragedy on Saturday,” Station House Officer of Meenapur police station Sona Prasad Singh said.
The parents of the killed children demanded his arrest.
Singh said raids were conducted to arrest Baitha who hails from Sitamarhi district but he is absconding. On Sunday, shocked villagers staged a protest by blocking the National Highway to demand Baitha’s arrest.
The accident occurred near Dharampur school on National Highway-77 in Minapur block when a Balero jeep hit the children while they were crossing the road. Angry over the deaths, area residents beat up teachers and set ablaze chairs and benches there on Saturday.
Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar said the injured children were admitted to a city hospital.
The state has announced Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the killed children.
Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal has already demanded stern action against the culprit.
Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, after visiting the injured, said their families told him that the killer vehicle belonged to the BJP leader and no arrest had been made so far.
Talking to news agency ANI, Yadav said, “It’s unfortunate. We are being told the vehicle belongs to a BJP general secretary and the driver is absconding, and the administration has not been able to arrest him so far. Relatives of the deceased are saying that the vehicle has a BJP board attached to it and people in it were intoxicated.”
On February 24, nine children were killed and 24 others, the majority of the students, were injured when a car rammed into a government school building at Ahiyapur in Muzaffarpur.