Protests In Bihar Assembly Over Leader Who Mowed Down 9 Children

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Manoj Baitha, a BJP leader from Sitamarhi was behind the wheels of the speeding car that mowed down kids.


Patna:  The death of nine children in last week's hit-and-run case in Muzaffarpur -- allegedly by a drink-driving BJP leader -- found resonance in the state assembly today. Led by Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, the opposition parties held a protest, demanding immediate action against the absconding Manoj Baitha.

The opposition has accused the Nitish Kumar government of trying to shield Mr Baitha because of his political affiliations - a claim the government has denied. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi has said the police have been asked to take the "sternest possible action" against Mr Baitha irrespective of his political affiliations.

The BJP -- which is part of the state's ruling alliance -- suspended Manoj Baitha from the party last evening. In a statement, the party said,"Manoj Baitha, a district level worker of Sitamarhi, has been suspended from the primary membership of the party for a period of six years".

The move followed a sarcastic tweet by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who claimed Mr Baitha was driving drunk despite the alcohol ban in the state. The ban, the brainchild of Mr Kumar, was imposed by the government with much publicity two years ago. He has even received praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the implementation.

Manoj Baitha was behind the wheels of an SUV that had run over nine children outside a school in Muzaffarnagar. The family that filed a complaint with the police, said CCTV footage from the area showed that him getting off the car and running away.

The police are trying to trace the leader, who is still absconding.

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