Car with BJP flag kills 9 children
Muzaffarpur: At least nine children were crushed to death under the wheels of an SUV sporting a BJP flag that lost control outside their school on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur in Bihar on Saturday afternoon.
The children - seven girls and two boys - were aged between seven and 11.
At least 10 students were injured in the accident that took place around 1.20pm outside the gates of the Government Middle School in Dharampur village, about 8km from Muzaffarpur town.
The BJP denied any association with the purported owner of the car, which threw up the question how the party flag found itself on the vehicle. Since the BJP is sharing power in Bihar, the presence of a party flag has larger implications than just being a symbol of political allegiance.
SSP Vivek Kumar said registration papers found inside the car suggested the owner was Manoj Baitha, a resident of Belsand in Sitamarhi district.
Political sources in Sitamarhi said they had heard of one Manoj Baitha who was a Dalit cell activist of the BJP.
But BJP spokesperson Devesh Thakur said: "We don't have any leader by that name associated with the party."
The students were about to cross National Highway 77 that runs in front of their school when the SUV ran them over. The driver tried to speed away but smashed the vehicle against a tree on a farm field. He has been arrested.
According to eyewitnesses, the driver was trying to go past a crowd that had gathered after a truck had knocked down a woman near the school. Seeing the ruckus, the driver of the SUV tried to swerve, lost control and hit the children waiting to cross the road.