Over the last fortnight, communal riots have spread to eight out of 38 districts of Bihar. In other words, more than one-fifth of Bihar is burning in communal flames right now.
One person was killed and around 65 were injured in communal clashes in these eight districts. Several people have been arrested in connection with these riots and over a dozen of them are BJP workers, including two senior leaders - Mohan Patwa and Dinesh Kumar Jha. One of the primary suspects - Arijit Shashwat, son of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the Minister of State (Mos) for Health and Family Welfare in the Modi Govt, is on the run.
The state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has so far remained mum over the law and order situation which has been deteriorating rapidly. To give an idea about the pace at which law and order has deteriorated in the state, here is a timeline.
March 17, Bhagalpur
Clashes in the state started a week before Ram Navmi. The clashes started after an unauthorised procession, taken out by BJP, Bajran Dal and RSS activists, in Nathnagar area turned violent. Police claims that it was Arijit Shashwat who led the procession in Bhagalpur. Over 35 people including policemen were injured and several shops and vehicles were set afire in these riots. An arrest warrant has been issued by a court against Shashwat and eight others, but they are on the run.
March 24, Siwan
A clash between two communities took place following an alleged effort by some people to stop a Ram Navmi procession at Hassanpura. Both sides indulged in stone-pelting, three vehicles were burnt. Six people were arrested.
March 25, Aurangabad
Communal clashes erupted in Aurangabad following a stone-pelting incident during a Ram Navmi procession. Clashes continued for two days, leaving over 25 people injured and 50 shops gutted. Curfew was clamped in the town and internet services were withdrawn. Cops arrest 122 people.
March 27, Samastipur
Members of two communities clashed and a mosque was vandalised in Rosera. Some people forcibly hoist a saffron flag on top of a minaret of the mosque. These incidents take place a day after a slipper was allegedly thrown at a Ram Navami procession. Ten people, including a probationary IPS officer, were injured and three vehicles were set afire. Curfew was imposed. Three people were arrested.
March 27, Munger
Clash between two communities erupted after some people protested against a controversial song being played and inflammatory slogans being chanted during an immersion procession of Chaiti Durga. Stones were pelted and shots were fired by both sides at a thoroughfare. Violence spread to several parts of the town. Property and vehicles were set afire.
March 28, Silao (Nalanda)
Heavy stone-pelting took place after a dispute over the route of a Ram Navami procession, and police had to resort to mild use of force besides firing tear gas shells to quell the mobs. More than 20 people, including a policeman, were injured. Fourteen people were arrested.
March 28, Sheikhpura
Participants of a Ram Navami procession clashed with police after their demand to use a route other than the permitted one in Girhinda area of the district was rejected. Police resorted to lathicharge. An FIR was lodged. The troublemakers are being identified.
March 30, Nawada
An idol of Lord Hanuman was found vandalised in a temple in this district which led to riots. Several private vehicles, public transport vehicles, and shops were gutted in the communal violence on Friday. The district magistrate, Kaushal Kumar, told News18 that internet services have been suspended in the area and the police presence has been increased.