New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will begin the second phase of his Adhikar Yatra on Saturday. The yatra aims at mobilising support for a special category status for Bihar. Police teams led by magistrates have been deployed at various points security has been tightened after some violent incidents during the first phase. The yatra is scheduled to begin by addressing a public meeting at the Zila school ground.
The Chief Minister's Adhikar Yatra has been marred by public protests and violence in several districts prompting the state police and district administration to re-draw security arrangements for Kumar during the second phase of his tour this month.
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.