Patna: Outrage spread across Bihar after Patna police arrested four-time MP and Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) President Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav on Tuesday for allegedly violating lockdown norms, with leaders of ruling parties joining the opposition in slamming the move.
Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose Hindustani Awam Morcha is part of the ruling NDA, said: "A public representative is working round the clock to help poor people of Bihar. Despite that, the state government arrested him. Cases of lockdown breach against him should be investigated judicially first before action, otherwise public outrage is inevitable."
Mukesh Sahani, President of Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP), which is also a NDA constituent, also expressed anger against the state government.
"The state government should encourage public representatives, and social activists to help people in the phase of pandemic. The arrest of Pappu Yadav who is helping people of Bihar is attributed to insensitivity," he said.
Rashtriya Janata Dal Vice President Shyam Rajak also reacted sharply to Pappu Yadav's arrest.
"Pappu Yadav is a leader who helps each and every person in Bihar. He has distributed life-saving medicines, ventilators, oxygen cylinders to corona patients. His arrest is extremely unfortunate. Nitish Kumar claims to be a socialist leader and doing politics in the name of Jai Prakash Narayan and Karpoori Thakur. If those leaders were alive, they would feel ashamed of Nitish Kumar. He has become dictator of Bihar. His image of 'Sushashan Babu' is just eyewash," he said.
In a tweet after his arrest, Pappu Yadav said: "If saving lives of common people in the phase of pandemic is crime then I admit that I am a criminal. Hang me or send me to jail PM Sahab, CM Sahab but I will not take a step back. I will not stop here. I will continue saving the lives of people and I will also expose unscrupulous leaders in future."
Pappu Yadav's wife and former MP Ranjeeta Ranjan said: "The life of my husband is in danger. He recently underwent operation a month ago. Still, he is continuously working in the favour of poor people of the state. I have strong apprehension that the state government arrested him under deep conspiracy in a bid to kill him in jail. His rapid antigen test was negative recently... the state government will make him corona positive and kill him."
Earlier in the day, the members of JAP protested on the streets of Patna against the Nitish Kumar government, burning the Chief Minister's effigy and terming him a "dictator".
A police officer from Madhepura had come to Patna and took Pappu Yadav back with him in connection with an FIR of lockdown violation was also lodged in the Udakisunganj police station there, apart from Patna. Another FIR was registered against Pappu Yadav in Saran for damaging government property on the day he raided at the office of BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy and unearthed 39 ambulances kept in the premises.
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