Vehicle that killed 9 kids in Bihar belongs to BJP leader

Bihar hit-and-run case Accused BJP leader Manoj Baitha surrenders

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Baitha has been suspended from the party's primary membership on Monday in connection with the hit-and-run case that claimed the lives of nine school children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district.

On February 24, nine children were killed and 24 others, majority of the students, were injured when a auto rammed into a government school building at Ahiyapur in Muzaffarpur.

Baitha was brought straight to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) as police feared admitting him at any hospital in Muzaffarpur could lead to the angry local residents attacking him there, said sources. "We have registered an FIR against Mr Baitha on February 25 on the basis of a complaint by Mohammad Ansari of Dharampur village", Meenapur Station House Officer Sona Prasad Singh told the news agency.

Earlier in the day, Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Modi had said strict action against will be taken against the main accused in the Muzaffarpur accident. The volte-face comes two days after Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai vehemently maintained on Saturday that "Baitha was not associated with the BJP".

Arrest warrant has reportedly been issued against Manoj Baitha, the BJP leader who is not just the owner of the vehicle involved but was also reportedly driving it.

It has come to light that the speeding Bolero vehicle which crushed 9 children to death belongs to BJP leader Manoj Baitha, who is the general secretary of the BJP's Sitamarhi district unit.

But BJP said Baitha is "neither our party worker nor leader".

On Monday RJD leaders along with Tejaswi Yadav met Bihar Governor and submitted a memorandum seeking immediate action against Manoj Baitha.

The state has announced Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the victims. Yet, no arrest has been made.

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