Patna, Aug. 30: The arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, the co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, from Bihar gave the BJP fresh ammunition to launch a frontal attack on the JD(U).
Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar tweeted on Thursday: “Bihar police, taking credit for arresting petty criminals, are shy of claiming Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest. Is it because of vote bank politics?”
Modi’s tweet is being seen in political circles as an attempt to counter the JD(U)’s suggestion after the Bodhgaya blasts that its former ally might be tacitly involved in it.
The BJP wondered why the state police had not taken the initiative to interrogate Bhatkal on the Darbhanga module as the terrorist had spent considerable time there and Madhubani in the garb of an Aryuvedic doctor. Taking the name Dr Imran, he allegedly encouraged youths hailing from poor families to join terrorist activities.
“Several terrorist acts across the country are linked with Bihar. Several youths have been arrested from here. Why the state police did not take him in remand and quiz him?” asked Modi.
He alleged that the state government had tried to change the location of his arrest from Raxaul to Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh. But after the government of the neighbouring state refused, the state government had to own up the arrest.
Modi alleged that “political pressure” was exerted on the police in Bhatkal’s arrest and it was shown that the arrest was made by National Investigation Agency when the truth was that the Bihar police had captured him.
Director-general of police Abhayanand denied any political interference, though. “The charges made against the police from some quarters are not based on facts,” he said, pointing out that the Bihar police did not take Bhatkal on remand because there was no case against him.
After the BJP and the Dal parted ways, terrorism and alleged fake encounters have become hot issues of debate between the two parties. The JD(U) MP, Ali Anwar, recently charged the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government of indulging in cold blooded murder of Ishrat Jahan, whom she called a daughter of Bihar.
Taking the battle forward, the former deputy chief minister today said: “The JD(U) might now declare that Bhatkal is the son-in-law of the state.” He pointed out that the in-laws of Bhatkal were originally from Samastipur.
The JD(U) maintained a studied silence on Bhatkal’s arrest despite the BJP’s rumblings. The political observers attributed it to vote bank politics. “The JD(U) did not react on the issue fearing it could hurt the sentiment of the minority community members and lead to loss of votes.”
Last year, Nitish had taken strong exception to the Centre using the term “Darbhanga module” of terrorism.
The BJP, then an ally, remained silent on the move of the chief minister.