Statesman News Service
PATNA, Feb. 24. —– Call it sheer coincidence or a well thought-out move, but on a day when the railway minister Mr Lalu Prasad earned nation-wide applause for presenting a populist railway budget involving all sections, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar ordered for reinvestigation into the 1989 Bhagalpur riots. The order follows a meeting of the state cabinet held here today at which it was decided to make a judicial probe into the riot cases. Official sources said a serving or retired High Court judge would head the probe panel that had been asked to submit the reports within six months. The victims’ families are still awaiting justice even 16 years after the riots destroyed the lives of their near and dear ones.
Even the 15-year old RJD regime that came to power in 1990 exploiting the sentiments of the torn-out minority failed to lived up to its promises before being kicked out from power. The fresh move comes close on the heels of the Bihar chief minister, Mr Kumar’s announcement to publish a white paper on the status of the cases and steps taken for rehabilitation of the victims’ families.
The move is all set to have tremendous impact on the state politics in due course and is likely to open pandora box for the both the Congress and the RJD.