Bihar: 9 Children Killed & Over 20 Injured By Speeding Bolero Allegedly Driven By Drunk BJP Leader
After a speeding Mahindra Bolero lost control and rammed into a government school on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur, Bihar, at least nine children were killed and over 20 were injured.
The school is situated along the National Highway 77.
The accident took place on Saturday, 24 February, at around 1.30 pm when school got over and students were crossing the highway to reach Dharampur village on the other side.
The victims were children of either daily wage workers or marginal farmers. Students and parents have been demanding relocation of the school owing to its location near the highway.
“The incident took place at Ahiyapur-Jhapaha in Minapur police station area of the district where a Bolero ran over the children who were returning to their homes after the school was over,” Vivek Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarpur, told PTI.
“All the injured, said to be around 20 in number, have been rushed to to the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital for treatment. The condition of some of them was stated to be critical,” he said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the incident and has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased children, adding that an inquiry would be initiated into the accident.
मुजफ्फरपुर में सड़क हादसे में हुई बच्चों की मृत्यु दुखद। घटना की जांच का निर्देश जारी। मृत बच्चों के परिवारों को रु. 4 लाख दिया जाएगा तथा घायलों के समुचित इलाज का खर्च राज्य सरकार वहन करेगी। https://t.co/ITdkLiGgCb
— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) February 24, 2018
Vehicle belonged to a BJP leader, police say
Hours after the tragedy, the police stated that the vehicle belonged to a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader, Manoj Baitha.
The BJP has, however, distanced itself from Baitha, claiming there was no office bearer from the BJP with that name.
The Bolero was found deserted at the site of the incident on Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi highway after the accident. It had a BJP plate, and the plate read: Manoj Baitha, Pradesh Mantri, Mahadalit Manch. Baitha is reportedly the general secretary of party’s Sitamarhi district unit.
Visuals of vehicle that rammed into a school building in Bihar's Muzaffarpur; Nine students died and 24 were injured in the incident. pic.twitter.com/u7IIs9koyA
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2018
Driver was drunk, even though Bihar is a dry state, RJD claims
Munna Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal lawmaker from Minapur, Munna Yadav, who visited the accident site, alleged that the driver of the vehicle was “definitely inebriated.” (It should be noted that Bihar is a dry state, and thus prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol.)
“There has been no control on consumption of alcohol despite the state government’s claims of prohibition,” he said.