Patna: Eighteen policemen - seven inspectors and 11 constables - were suspended on Sunday for failing to prevent the attacks on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's cavalcade during his Adhikar Yatra. The Bihar police on Saturday formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by a superintendent of police, to probe the protests. The SIT filed an FIR against 75 named and 600 unknown people.
There were protests in Motihari, Begusarai and Khagaria during the Yatra, undertaken by Nitish to put pressure on the Centre over his demand for special status for the state. In Madhepura on Friday, contractual teachers threw slippers at him during a public meeting. The teachers (known as para-teachers) were reportedly protesting against the chief minister for the non-fulfilment of their demands.
In a separate incident the same day, a former MLA of the Janata Dal (United) snatched the carbine of a policeman on duty and started firing in air when a few protesters tried to attack Nitish's cavalcade in Khagaria. Ranveer Yadav, husband of present JDU MLA Poonam Yadav, was seen brandishing a gun and chasing people away. Reports say that he even snatched a police stick and thrashed protesters.
On Wednesday, a protester among a group of contractual workers showed a slipper to Nitish at a public meeting in Darbhanga. The man suddenly took his 'chappal' in his hand and showed it to Kumar as he was addressing a gathering to press for the special status demand. TV channel cameras captured the unidentified protester waving his 'chappal' in the chief minister's direction.
The spate of protests led former CM Lalu Prasad to take a dig at his rival. "The protests show poor governance," he said. Nitish, however, remains undeterred. He has planned a mega rally in November this year to press for his demands.
(With additional information from PTI)