The Grand Alliance in Bihar on Wednesday condemned the police firing in Munger town in which an 18-year-old was killed and several were injured, reported ANI. The Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal demanded a High Court-monitored inquiry into the incident.

At the presser in Patna, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav criticised the state government and asked to whom gave it permission to become General Dyer – the British army officer responsible for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. The RJD leader also questioned the law and order situation in the state.

“What was Bihar’s chief minister doing?” asked Yadav as voting began in 71 Assembly seats of Bihar. “What was Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, who is a leader of the BJP, doing? Did they not have information? This [inaction] shows the role they played in the incident.”

Violent clashes erupted between the police and a group of people over delay in the immersion ceremony of a Durga idol in intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. While 18-year-old Anurag Kumar Poddar was reportedly shot in the head, over 25 people, including 20 personnel, were injured in the clashes.

An altercation reportedly broke out over the manner in which the ceremony took place. Prakash Bhagat, a member of a committee overseeing the immersion, said more than 53 Durga idols were installed in Munger. Out of these, 15 were taken for immersion in the Ganga river at the Deendayal Chowk on the night of the clashes.

Traditionally, the idols are immersed after three days of Vijayadashami. But the police this time insisted on immersing them before 5 am on Tuesday, in view of the first phase of the Assembly elections in the state.

Several organisers objected to this and allegedly started pelting stones at the police. The personnel responded by baton charging the angry crowd. When the situation escalated, they reportedly opened fire. Later personnel from the Bihar Military Police and paramilitary forces were also deployed in the affected areas.

The police claimed it was compelled to fire to disperse the mob, which allegedly retaliated with counter firing. They claimed to have recovered three country-made pistols with some live and empty cartridges from the crowd.