Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday visited the homes of poor Muslims whose relatives were killed and others injured in the June 3 police firing in Forbesganj and assured them of help in getting justice and better medical treatment for the injured.
Mr Gandhi’s relatively quiet, two-hour visit to Bhajanpura village, near Forbesganj in Bihar’s poverty-stricken Araria district in the north, was swiftly dismissed by the state’s ruling JD(U) and BJP as a delayed, politically motivated act that would yield no gains for the Congress.
But, considering the fact that chief minister Nitish Kumar is yet to visit Forbesganj and meet the victims’ kin, the Congress and other Opposition parties hinted at intensifying their attacks on the NDA government.
Sitting in a plastic chair in the front yard of a house, Mr Gandhi keenly heard the relatives of the four people killed — including a pregnant woman and a six-month-old infant — in the police firing narrate their grievances.
An apparently contemplative Mr Gandhi asked questions of the victims quite a few times and turned to a Congress leader seated beside him for interpretation of phrases in the local dialect spoken by the aggrieved people.
Mr Gandhi, accompanied by Bihar Congress president Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, then visited the homes of the nine people who were injured in the firing and promised them help with better medical treatment. After meeting seven-year-old Manzoor Ansari, who received bullet injuries on parts of his face, Mr Gandhi asked his mother, Phulia Khatoon, to prepare for the boy to be brought to Delhi and asked Mr Kaiser to make the necessary arrangements.
JD(U) national spokesman Shivanand Tiwary, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP and animal husbandry minister Giriraj Singh of the BJP criticised Mr Gandhi’s visit to Forbesganj. Asian Age