CPI(ML) activists protest the murder in front of the Assembly. Picture by Deepak Kumar
Patna, March 27: The Bihar Assembly today witnessed vociferous protests of the Opposition against the murder of CPM leader Ram Pukar Mahto in Begusarai district yesterday.
Agitated Opposition members stormed the well, forcing the Speaker to adjourn proceedings.
Armed men travelling in a jeep gunned down Mahto (50), a member of the Begusarai district unit CPM, near his house last evening.
Describing the incident as the handiwork of Maoists, CPM member Ramdeo Verma led the entire Opposition into the well demanding an adjournment on the issue.
Begusarai was once known as the Leningrad of Bihar because of the strong presence of CPI and CPM. However, the mainline Left parties have been losing control over the region since 1980s, leaving its conventional support base among farmers and labourers to fill the rank and file of the fast-growing Maoists in the state.
The rebels, in a hurry to usurp control from the CPM, had targeted the house of CPM leader Dinesh Singh recently.
As the House assembled for the day, Verma raised the issue demanding the Speaker, Uday Narayan Choudhary, to accept his adjournment on what he described as the sensational murder of his fellow comrade.
The CPI, RJD, Congress, CPI(ML) and LJP members, too, joined him in the well when the Speaker rejected the motion on the plea that it was not in order.
However, unable to restore peace in the House, the Speaker adjourned it till noon. Similar scenes were witnessed when chief minister Nitish Kumar intervened stating that he would give statement on the issue in the House at the end of the days session.
At the very end of the session, Nitish read out Begusarai superintendent of polices report which clarified that armed criminals fired five bullets at Mahato when the latter was returning home from a nearby shop.
Police are investigating into the murder, Nitish said, adding: I am sure that the police will bring the culprits to the book.
At this, Verma stressed that his party had evidence to prove that the attack was engineered by the rebels.
The government must take steps to curb rebels activities in the region and ensure adequate compensation to the dependents of the deceased.
Nitish Kumar told him that the state government would meet the necessary demands only after the police completed their investigations.