Ram Navami violence: Situation in Nalanda normal, Section 144 in place, says SP

2 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Amit Shah National

Clashes were reported in Nalanda's Biharsharif and Sasaram in Rohtas district, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah was due to visit.

After conflicts between two factions during Ram Navami celebrations in certain parts of Bihar, state police reported on Sunday that the situation in Nalanda’s Biharsharif was absolutely normal. They were also urged not to believe rumors by the state police. On March 31, clashes were reported in Nalanda’s Biharsharif and Sasaram in Rohtas district, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah was due to visit.

Ashok Mishra, the Superintendent of Police in Nalanda, advised residents not to be influenced by rumors or false news.

“The situation in Nalanda’s Biharsharif is completely normal. We would like to urge the general public not to believe in rumors. Stringent action will be taken against those spreading rumors,” stated Bihar Police in a tweet.

Abhishek Palasi, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Biharsharif Sadar, stated that prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in effect in Nalanda.

“The law and order situation in Biharsharif is back to normal. I appeal to people not to buy into rumors or misleading reports that may be floating around. Those found indulging in rumor mongering will be taken to task,” the SDM added.

Shashank Shubhankar, DM of Nalanda, echoed the refrain, emphasising that anybody caught propagating rumours will face harsh police action.

“Ignore the rumours. Strict action will be taken against those spreading rumours,” said Shashank Shubhankar in a tweet.

Earlier on Saturday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stated that the incidences are not “natural,” and that someone may have done something “unnatural intentionally” to disrupt law and order.

Denying any law and order situation in the state, the chief minister also commented on Amit Shah’s postponement of his scheduled visit to Sasaram in the aftermath of the skirmishes, stating it was the BJP’s decision. Nitish Kumar told the media that he had directed officials to examine the occurrences and identify those responsible.

The CM stated that he feared an outside hand was involved in the violence, claiming that such instances are not “natural” in Bihar.

“It is unfortunate. The situation was controlled in Sasaram immediately. Last evening, around 6 pm, I got to know about the Biharsharif incident. The situation has been controlled there also. But I have instructed the officials to ascertain who is at fault and investigate the matter because incidents like these never used to take place. Why have such incidents taken place this time?” Kumar said.

“The police will take action against those who are indulged. It isn’t ‘natural’, definitely, somebody might have done something ‘unnatural’ deliberately,” he added.

The situation in Sasaram and Biharsharif in Nalanda district, according to Bihar Police, is “totally normal and under control.”

After identifying anti-social elements, police claimed 27 people were arrested in Nalanda and 18 in Sasaram in connection with the event.

“The situation in Biharsharif of Nalanda and Sasaram of Rohtas is completely normal and under control. Two FIRs have been registered in Nalanda and Rohtas and 27 and 18 people have been arrested respectively identifying anti-social elements,” Bihar Police tweeted.

According to the police, appropriate security has been posted in the districts following the confrontations, and senior officials have also been camping in the violence-hit area.

“Ram Navami processions have been completed in Bihar Sharif and Sasaram. An adequate number of force has been deployed at both places. Senior officials are camping at the spot,” the Bihar police posted on its Twitter handle.

Social media platforms are also being monitored to avoid the transmission of controversial or inaccurate information.