MPs, ministers face fury of Bihar flood victims

August 24th, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Aug 24 (IANS) With the flood situation remaining grim in Bihar affecting about one million people, legislators, MPs, ministers and officials think twice before visiting affected areas after many of them faced the fury of victims complaining about inadequate relief supplies.Flood victims, hungry and homeless, attacked a legislator, two MPs and officials in Supaul and Araria districts two days ago and warned them not to visit their area without relief supplies, setting a precedent.

“I will have to make some excuse for not visiting my area as there are reports of angry protests by flood victims,” said a legislator of the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) from flood-hit Purnea.

A senior minister said he did visit flood victims but only after ensuring adequate security.

On the other hand, Saharsa MP Ranjeeta Ranjan was camping in her constituency for last several days even as flood victims protested inadequate relief.

A mob of victims attacked and virtually chased away Forbesganj MP Lakshmi Mehta, Araria MP Sukhdeo Paswan and Narpatganj legislator Janardan Yadav, all of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), when they visited them empty handed Thursday.

Supaul district magistrate Mohammed Sharief Alam and other officials were attacked by angry flood victims, who also threw stones at his vehicle two days ago during his visit to take stock of the flood situation.

No wonder then that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has warned all government officials of severe punishment if slackness was found in relief work. He made it clear at a review meeting that there should not be any laxity in relief operations at any level.

Meanwhile, officials Sunday said the overall flood situation remained grim affecting over 900 villages in 12 districts.

Major rivers, including the Ganga, Punpun, Ghaghra, Burhigandak, Bagmati, Kosi and Mahananda, were flowing above the danger mark at several places.

People at several places took shelter on embankments while many were moved to safer places.

The National Disaster Management Force along with army personnel and air force helicopters have already been engaged in providing relief, an official said.

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