Public-police clash in Patna during anti-encroachment drive
Patna: At least six policemen were injured and several vehicles set ablaze in the Bihar state capital on Tuesday when a mob attacked the police in an attempt to thwart a demolition drive here ordered by the court, police said.
The police resorted to firing several rounds in the Rajeev Nagar area of Patna to disperse the hundreds-strong crowd which indulged in stone-pelting and set a JCB and a police jeep on fire to halt the demolition of their houses.
Tension prevailed in the area though the situation had been brought under control, an officer said.
The protestors said the police action came without any prior notice. They also refuted police claim that the anti-encroachment drive was ordered by the Patna High Court.
"Several police officials were injured in stone and brick pelting by the encroachers, who also chased the police teams that were deployed in the demolition drive," a district police official said.
As soon as the demolition drive began, a group of locals tried to stop the police and the JCB machine engaged in the process.
Although the protestors' first attempt to scuttle the drive failed, its news "spread like wildfire".
Soon the police team leading the demolition drive was surrounded by hundreds of residents, "mostly encroachers", said the police official. The law enforcing team was attacked with stones.
Heavy security force has been deployed in the area.