The Bihar Legislative Council on Wednesday passed the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021, even as the Opposition boycotted the proceedings, reported The Indian Express. The Rashtriya Janata Dal-led opposition took the decision to protest against the manner in which its MLAs were evicted from the state Assembly the previous day.
The Bihar Assembly passed the Bill on Tuesday amid chaos. Opposition leaders were left injured in a scuffle with security forces. A video tweeted by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav showed Rapid Action Force personnel in the state Assembly cordoning off Opposition MLAs even as they shouted slogans.
On Wednesday, the RJD demanded an apology from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the alleged forceful eviction of its MLAs. “I am not going to return to the House until Chief Minister Nitish Kumar apologises for misconduct of his police force,” said Yadav. He claimed that the passing of the Bill would pave the way for “police raj, giving it unbridled powers”.
Leaders from the Opposition claim that the Bill has provisions that will give power to the Special Armed Police, earlier called the Bihar Military Police, to search and arrest without warrants.
The Opposition parties staged a dharna outside the legislature on Wednesday. The RJD staged mock proceedings of the previous day’s Assembly session, when Opposition MLAs were marshalled out of the House. RJD leader Bhudeo Choudhary pretended to be the Speaker at this mock proceeding. They also paraded 12 MLAs, including the seven who sustained injuries on Tuesday.
Former Chief Minister and RJD leader Rabri Devi accused the police of misbehaving with the women legislators. On Tuesday, RJD MLAs Anita Devi and Manju Devi, and Congress’s Pratima Kumari, along with two others, had approached the Speaker after Yadav had returned to the House after staging a protest outside. Yadav’s return to the Assembly had intensified the Opposition protest against the Bill. RJD MLA Bhai Virendra had torn a copy of the Bill while another party legislator Satyendra Yadav tried to snatch a copy of the Bill from Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad.
Following this, several legislators, including the three women, were marshalled out of the House as they alleged that the police manhandled them.
Earlier on Wednesday, Yadav posted multiple videos and photos of his party MLAs who were injured, and alleged that they were heckled by security forces and “goons in plain clothes”.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also criticised Nitish Kumar, suggesting that the incident was a result of the chief minister being under the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological parent organisation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.