Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey’s son Arijit Shashwat, an accused in connection with communal clashes in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, moved the Patna High Court on Thursday, asking for the case against him to be quashed, ANI reported.
Earlier in the day, Shyam Rajak, a legislator of the ruling Janata Dal (United), had said that Shashwat would be arrested soon. Choubey’s Bharatiya Janata Party is an ally of the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar.
A case against Shashwat was filed on March 19, and a Bhagalpur court issued an arrest warrant against him five days later, but he has not been arrested yet. He has moved an anticipatory bail petition before a court, which will hear it on Saturday.
On March 17, violence had broken out during a procession in Nathnagar during a procession organised by that the Bharatiya Navvarsh Jagran Samiti to mark the Hindu New Year. The procession, led by Shashwat, allegedly passed through at least half-a-dozen Muslim-dominated areas. Authorities said the participants shouted some provocative slogans, which could have triggered the violence.
Choubey and other local BJP leaders claimed that the district administration had allowed the rally. Choubey also denied that provocative slogans were shouted. He called the First Information Report “a piece of garbage” registered by corrupt officers of the area, ANI reported earlier.
Choubey was elected from the Buxar Lok Sabha seat in 2014. His son Shashwat had contested the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections from Bhagalpur on a BJP ticket, but lost to the Congress candidate.