RJD, BJP workers clash in Patna, six injured
At least six persons were injured in a clash between BJP and stone-pelting RJD workers outside the BJP office here, a day after IT raids in connection with alleged benami property deals involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Hundreds of bare-bodied RJD youth wing workers marched towards the BJP state headquarters, to register their protest against senior BJP leader Sushil Modi's "continuous attack" on the RJD chief and his family.
Carrying RJD flags and shouting "Lalu Zindabad", the workers turned violent and pelted stones at the BJP office at Beer Chand Patel Marg, eyewitnesses said.
The BJP workers came out of the office with sticks to retaliate.
In the melee, at least six persons were hit by stones and windscreens of many vehicles parked outside the BJP office were damaged.
"It was unprovoked violence. Police intervened timely to separate the clashing workers of both the parties," Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj told PTI.
Additional police force has been deployed to maintain peace, the SSP said.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Muzzafarpur where RJD workers gheraoed the BJP office but timely intervention by the police prevented an outbreak of violence.
The unpleasant event drew sharp political comments.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Modi, who is sitting on a dharna at Gardanibagh with state chief Nityanand Rai and others against Lalu Prasad's alleged benami properties, said the attack was "shameful" and alleged it was orchestrated by the state government to "gag" the voice of the opposition.
"BJP office is located in a prohibited area and due to this we were not given permission to hold our protest dharna today in front of our party office. Then how were hundreds of RJD goons allowed to stage protest and throw stones at us?" he asked.
"When the violence was happening at the BJP office, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was sitting in a state-level bankers committee meeting at a short distance," he told PTI.
His colleague Nand Kishore Yadav described the RJD attack on the BJP office as mark of their "hatasha and nirasha" (dejection) for being out of power.
"Is this 'Sushasan" (good governance)?" he asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
RJD spokesman Mritunjay Tiwari blamed the BJP for the violence.
"RJD workers were peacefully protesting when BJP workers threw stones and glass bottles at them," Tiwari told PTI.
He said BJP leader Sushil Modi has been levelling "unsubstantiated" allegations against Lalu Prasad and his family for which the youth wing workers of the party were protesting.
Sushil Modi, former Deputy Chief Minister of the state, has levelled series of charges against Lalu Prasad, his two minister sons and daughter Misa Bharti, who is a Rajya Sabha MP.