The Peninsula / January 16 2006 / (IANS)
Bihar CM orders new probe into ’89 Bhagalpur riots
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a fresh probe into the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, apparently in a bid to boost the image of his government among the minority Muslim community.
Officials in the home department said a high-level committee had been formed under the chairmanship of the home secretary to inquire into the riots that killed over 1,000 people — mostly Muslims.Some of those responsible for the violence were convicted, but most of the guilty are still at large.
Two days ago, the state government had decided to bring a white paper on the riots and formed a committee that will look into different aspects of the violence. The white paper will focus on compensation, rehabilitation and trial of cases.
Less than two months after forming the government following assembly polls, Nitish Kumar’s moves are seen as part of his efforts to send out a message to Muslims that his administration will not compromise on secularism despite running a coalition with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Nitish Kumar had earlier said his government would consider a fresh probe into cases related to the Bhagalpur riots that were closed by police for want of evidence.
He told a function here Saturday that his government was committed to punishing the guilty as his Janata Dal-U "has promised to give justice to the victims of Bhagalpur riots as part of our programme for good governance".