Awadhesh Mandal, a gangster married to an MLA, was freed from a police station on the night of 17 January by a mob that allegedly comprised supporters and leaders of the Janata Dal (United) party, reports The Indian Express.
The gangster, who has 46 criminal cases against him, is apparently a great gatherer of votes from the Economically Backward Classes. Two days after his release by the JD(U) mob, he was rearrested.
Awadesh is known to assault doctors, who have protested against him six times in 10 years. He also assaulted a circle officer in Purnea, prompting a strike of all circle officers and block development officers in the district. Even his MLA wife, Bima Bhati, has filed charges against him for assault, once in 2010 and the latest in December, 2015.
Police are investigating the possible involvement of Bharti and Santosh Kushwaha, the JD(U) MP from Purnea, in Awadhesh's escape. Both had visited the police station where the gangster had been held, with supporters in more than 50 cars. Awadhesh apparently got away in his wife's car.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is from the JD(U), said: "No indiscipline in the party of any kind be tolerated. The party has taken note of party leaders' role in freeing Awadhesh from the police station; a code of conduct is in place for MPs and MLAs."