VHP shutdown over conversion turns violent in Bihar district

Patna, Sep 9 :

VHP activists went on a rampage in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district Tuesday during a strike called to protest the alleged conversion of a teenaged Hindu girl after her abduction, police said.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad demanded the arrest of the four males accused in the case.

VHP activists armed with bamboo sticks vandalised scores of shops and roadside stalls near a railway station and a bus stand in Bhagalpur, about 150 km from Patna, a police official said.

“They also damaged vehicles and attacked their drivers to ensure a complete shutdown,” Senior Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar said over telephone.

They halted trains and blocked railway tracks, he said. Schools were told to shut for the day.

Police said the shutdown evoked a mixed response. Shops and markets were closed in some areas but traffic on the roads was more or less normal.

According to a police complaint lodged by the mother of the 17-year-old young woman, she reportedly went to the family’s ancestral village Dhuwabe in Bhagalpur April 30.

She was allegedly abducted by four young men and taken to Patna and New Delhi and brought back to Bhagalpur, where one of them married her, the mother said.

The girl, rescued by police May 24, reportedly told her mother that she escaped from the young man’s house and that she was forced to embrace Islam.

But according to Vivek Kumar, the girl told the court that she went with the male friend voluntarily. He said he — also a minor — has been sent to a remand home.

The shutdown was supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party.


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