50 injured in police, protestors clash in Patna

Patna: At least 50 people, including 12 police officers, were injured here on Friday afternoon when police in a bid to disperse protestors resorted to batoncharge, fired in the air and lobbed teargas shells, police said.

The incident occurred as hundreds of supporters of Nishad Adhikar March, demonstrating in support of their charter of demands, blocked a main road near Gandhi Maidan, known for rallies, here for three hours.

Mukesh Shahni, the chief of Sahni (fishermen) Samaj Kalyan Sanstha, said people of this section of society were a deprived lot and had not benefitted from the government`s welfare schemes.

Though police allowed the protestors` leader Shahni to go to meet Governor Ram Nath Kovind in Raj Bhavan but it prevented others from entering the prohibited area.

Governor Kovind, however, refused to meet Shahni. He returned and soon his supporters started pelting stones at police officials and attacked policemen without any provocation, Patna`s senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said.

“Police officials were forced to lathicharge, fired in the air and burst teargas shells to disperse the unruly mob,” Maharaj added.

He said that over a dozen police officers were injured in the stone pelting.

Police later detained Shahni along with his 20 supporters.