The SUV that killed nine children when it rammed into the wall of a school on the outskirts of the district of Muzaffarpur. Picture: Screengrab

New Delhi - Manoj Baitha, a local leader of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused of running over and killing nine children with his SUV in the eastern state of Bihar, has surrendered to police.

Baitha turned himself in to Muzaffarpur police late Tuesday, district police chief Gourav Pandey said Wednesday.

The politician has been formally arrested, Pandey said, and was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries related to the accident.

Nine students were killed and 20 more were injured when the politician's vehicle rammed into the wall of a school on the outskirts of the district of Muzaffarpur on Saturday. Some victims were hit directly by the vehicle, others were caught under the wall that collapsed.

Police said Baitha was driving the SUV under the influence of liquor, but the politician dismissed this.

"I surrendered voluntarily," Baitha told reporters at the hospital. He denied that he was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

State Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi told the police to take the "sternest possible action," according to broadcaster NDTV.

Sources told NDTV on Wednesday that the BJP leadership asked Baitha to surrender amid ongoing outrage over the incident. He was suspended by the BJP for six years following protests in the region.