BJP Leader Accused of Mowing Down 9 Kids in Muzaffarpur Surrenders

Manoj Baitha was moved to Patna Medical College and Hospital for treatment of his injuries post the accident.

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A Mahindra Bolero that lost control and rammed into a government school building crushing 9 kids to death in Muzaffarpur of Bihar on 24 February, 2018.

The suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker Manoj Baitha, who has been accused of mowing down nine children while allegedly driving an SUV under the influence of alcohol in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, surrendered on Wednesday, 28 February, ANI reported.

ANI added that Baitha was moved to Patna Medical College and Hospital for treating injuries he inflicted in the crash.

Baitha, who is currently recovering from his injuries at the hospital, shook his head in denial, when asked if he was driving the vehicle. He said that he surrendered to the police and did not receive any help from his party.

At least nine children were killed and about 20 injured when the speeding Mahindra Bolero lost control and ploughed through them outside a government school building on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur on Saturday, 24 February.

The BJP had suspended the hit-and-run accused Baitha on Tuesday, 27 February.

Manoj Baitha, a district-level worker of Sitamarhi, has been suspended from the primary membership of the party for a period of six years.
Devesh Kumar, BJP’s Bihar unit vice-president, to PTI

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said the police were directed to take "sternest possible action" against Baitha, irrespective of his political affiliations.

Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar faced criticism for ‘sheilding’ Baitha. Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress members on Tuesday, 27 February, staged protests in the Bihar Assembly demanding arrest of the BJP worker.

The police told IANS that Baitha was in the vehicle at the time of the accident, but he, along with his driver, fled and went into hiding.

An FIR was lodged on Monday against Baitha on the statement of Mohammad Ansari, whose five grandchildren were killed in the accident. On Sunday, agitated villagers blocked the National Highway 77, demanding Baitha's arrest.

Ansari, a resident of Dharampur village, told the police that Baitha was driving the vehicle when it mowed down the children, IANS reported. Clad in a white kurta-pyjama, Baitha fled after the vehicle hit the children, Ansari added.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI and IANS)

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