Bihar BJP ex-MLA held for Ram Navami violence, party slams ‘appeasement’; CM says won’t spare guilty

Rohtas police in Bihar arrested senior state BJP leader Jawahar Prasad, a five-time former MLA from Sasaram constituency, on Saturday for allegedly inciting violence in Sasaram town during the Ram Navami procession on March 31.

More than a dozen people were injured in the clashes, which took a communal turn.

Rohtas Superintendent of Police Vineet Kumar said Prasad, 75, was arrested “after our investigation suggested his involvement in communal violence”.

While BJP questioned the arrest and alleged that this was part of the Mahagathbandhan government’s “minority appeasement politics”, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Bihar said, “Police are doing their job. All those involved, irrespective of party affiliations, will be arrested.”

Pointing toward Nitish’s assertion that violence in Sasaram and Biharsharif — both on March 31 — could be “part of a possible political conspiracy”, BJP Rajya Sabha MP and former Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said, “We are not surprised (at Prasad’s arrest) because the CM had decided beforehand that the violence was a political conspiracy even before primary investigation was done.”

Prasad, who was incidentally a member of the sadbhavna (peace) committee in the district, was allegedly among those instrumental in mobilising a crowd during the Ram Navami procession that engaged in throwing stones at people from another community in the town. Clashes had occurred in Biharsharif, too, on March 31.

In violence the following day, six people were injured in a crude bomb blast. The police had said the two incidents were not related. A total of 63 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence over the two days.

Backing Prasad, BJP’s OBC Morcha national general secretary Nikhil Anand said: “The Nitish Kumar government has made him a scapegoat for Ram Navami violence. Prasad is an aged person…”

Accusing the MGB government of pandering to minorities, Anand said, “Prasad is a backward leader…the government wants to book him and other subaltern leaders as culprits. The Bihar government is going to such depths to play politics of Muslim appeasement.”

Sushil Modi questioned the rationale behind making Prasad an accused in the case by citing the fact that he was himself part of the Ram Navami procession, participants of which were involved in the clash. Why would someone who was part of the procession get stones thrown at the same procession, the former Deputy CM asked.

Prasad, who won the Assembly election from Sasaram on five consecutive occasions from 1990, was denied a ticket by BJP in 2015 and 2020. The RJD won it on both occasions, and the party’s Rajesh Kumar Gupta represents it in Vidhan Sabha at present.

While BJP has accused the state government of targetting political opponents, and called Prasad innocent, the former MLA is no stranger to controversies. In fact, his rise from being a municipal corporation driver to the Sasaram MLA in 1990 is said to have been due largely to his alleged involvement in communal riots in the state in 1989. Prasad also faced a case under Arms Act in 1990, besides some other cases.

He has not been convicted so far.

Prasad, who comes from the OBC Kushwaha community and never went to school, is known for his “unique” style, a BJP legislator said, and cited one instance: “He put up a red beacon on his bike after becoming an MLA. He also does not wear slippers.”

Sasaram Assembly segment has a 70:30 Hindu-Muslim population, and has seen polarisation along religious lines in the past.

Prasad’s daughter-in-law, Chandni Kumari, unsuccessfully contested the recent election for Sasaram mayor’s post. According to the 2010 Assembly election affidavit, Prasad has assets worth Rs 50 lakh.


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact ad[email protected]

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