Suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Baitha, who was on the run for 3 days after being accused of mowing down 9 children while driving an SUV in an inebriated state in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, surrendered before the police on Wednesday.After his arrest, he was taken to a hospital in Patna for treatment of the injuries he purportedly suffered in the accident on February 24.Also readMuzaffarpur tragedy: Manoj Baitha reportedly escapes to Nepal, Tejashwi accuses BJP of shielding himHe was shifted from Sri Krishna Medical College in Muzaffarpur to Patna Medical College and Hospital as police feared a confrontation with relatives of the victims admitted there.At least nine children were killed and about 2 dozen injured when the speeding vehicle lost control and ploughed through them outside a government school building on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur on Saturday.After the surrender, he denied driving the vehicle involved in the accident. “I am very sad to hear about the death of children. I surrendered on my own,” Baitha told ANI.”The allegations on him are false. He never drinks alcohol,” Rajiv Kumar, a relative of Baitha, said. The police have registered an FIR against Baitha on the complaint of a local who lost his granddaughter in the incident.The BJP said Baitha was a district-level party worker from Sitamarhi and suspended his primary membership for a period of six years on Monday.Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said the police were directed to take “sternest possible action” against Baitha irrespective of his political affiliations.Also readBihar tragedy: FIR registered in death of 9 school children; Tejashwi demands arrest of BJP leader The opposition RJD has accused the Nitish Kumar government of trying to shield Baitha and alleged that the BJP worker was “drunk” while behind the steering wheel even though sale and consumption of alcohol is banned in the state.Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday lashed out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and mocked him over his much-publicised prohibition law.(With agencies)
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