Why Were Opposition MLAs Manhandled in Bihar Assembly?

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has sought an apology from Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for the incident.

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Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya

Extraordinary scenes unfolded at the Bihar Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, 23 March, when Opposition MLAs were manhandled and dragged by the police and security personnel. In an unprecedented chaos in the state assembly over the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021, that gives special powers to the police, opposition MLAs were seen being pulled by the hair and kicked by police personnel.

The bill gives police powers to search anyone without a warrant and take them into custody wherever they are posted.

After multiple disruptions in the assembly proceedings, opposition MLAs rushed towards Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha’s chair, tore papers and, later, gheraoed his chamber and blocked his exit.

Later, security forces were called in to remove the protesting opposition MLAs from RJD, Congress and their allies. Those reluctant to leave were pushed, dragged and could even be seen thrashed in multiple videos doing the round on social media.

Reason for the Uproar

On Tuesday, the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar managed to get the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021, passed in the Assembly. The Opposition raised concerns over the bill on several issues.

  1. As per the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021, the police will not need any warrant or a magistrate’s order to carry out arrests.
  2. Point number 8 of the bill states that the police can launch search operations without a warrant and it can arrest anyone merely on the basis of suspicion.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the Opposition need to read the Bill before jumping into conclusions.

On the other hand, RJD Leader Tejashwi Yadav demanded an apology from Kumar over the eviction of the MLAs from the Assembly.

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