Munger firing incident: Cong draws parallel with Jallianwala Bagh, compares Nitish with Gen. Dyer

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New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) Hitting out at the Bihar government over the Munger firing incident in which a devotee was killed, the Congress compared Chief minister Nitish Kumar with General Dyer on Wednesday and demanded that he should apologise.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said human beings were treated as animals and worms by the police in Munger, when they beat up devotees taking out Durga idols 'cruelly and mercilessly'.

One person was killed and over two dozen people, including security personnel, were injured in firing and stone-pelting during the immersion of Durga idols in Bihar's Munger, police said on Tuesday, a day before the first phase of the Assembly polls in the state, including in the district.

'I want to ask, is it a crime in this country to do Durga Pooja with all requisite safeguards and if it is some violation, is this the way to treat human beings like chattels, like animals, I would say like worms? 'Is there no respect for human dignity for this absolutely barbaric, cruel, unthinking, insensitive, Sarkar?' Singhvi asked at a virtual press conference.

The Congress leader also dubbed Kumar, who is known as 'Sushasan babu' as 'merciless' and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi as 'compassionless' and said their government has failed in maintaining law and order and governance in Bihar and its end is near.

People are told about 'Sushashan babu' and then, such incidents remind them of the 'barbarity and cruelty of General Dyer', he said.

Singhvi added that General Dyer was at least a foreigner and represented a colonial power, but the Munger incident reminds everyone of barbarism and cruelty 'against our own people by our own people'.

General Reginald Dyer is known for ordering troops of the British Indian Army to fire at a crowd of unarmed civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, killing many of them, on April 13, 1919.

Singhvi said words such as 'barbarity, cruelty, lack of compassion, merciless crushing' are insufficient to describe the manner in which the devotees were beaten up and chased in Munger.

'If they have any shame, they should seek an unconditional apology from the sevaks and worshipers of Maa durga. They must seek an apology from the reverers of the Indian culture,' he said.

The Congress leader also cited figures of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to allege that incidents of crime have increased by 150 per cent in Bihar, from 1.07 lakh cases in 2005 to 2.69 lakh in 2019, and close to 750 such reports, including that of abductions, emerge every day in the state. PTI SKC RC