M A I N   N E W S

Violent pro-quota medicos lathi-charged
35 injured; Bihar CM seeks report
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, May 19
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked the DGP, Mr Ashish Ranjan Sinha to inquire into the circumstances that led to the lathicharge on the agitating pro-quota medical students in Patna today. The protesters had turned violent during a demonstration by attacking the mediapersons as well as the policemen.

Over 35 persons were injured in the violence and subsequent lathi-charge

This was the first pro-quota demonstration by students not only in Patna, but in the country too, after the anti-quota protests rocked the nation almost 10 days ago.

Over 100 agitating students, armed with hockey sticks, had first started marching from Gandhi Maidan in the morning and stopped in front of Mayura Hotel raising slogans against the media. Mayura hotel houses the office of a leading English news channel which, according to the students, was supporting the anti-quota movement.

The students, mostly from the Patna Medical College and Hospital(PMCH), marched towards the Duk Bungalow crossing where they clashed with mediapersons and policemen.

Fifteen persons, including photo-journalists and some policemen, sustained injuries when pro-quota students and doctors attacked the lensmen and policemen accusing them of being biased towards the anti-quota lobby.

The students alleged that the media and police were trying to “suppress” the Centre’s proposal to introduce 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in premier educational institutions.

Photographers of the Press Trust of India, Times of India and Hindustan Times, cameramen of Star News, ETV and Aaj Tak TV channels and some journalists were injured when the students assaulted them with hockey sticks.

After journalists, the students hurled stones at the policemen injuring one constable at Duk Bangalow.

Senior Police Superintendent of Patna Kundan Krishnan said at least five policemen were injured by the students.

The police then resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesting students. But while fleeing from the spot, students damaged cars in front of the Times of India Office.

Over 20 students were injured in the lathicharge.

The police suspected the involvement of some anti-social elements in unleashing violence.

Interestingly, protest by the anti-quota students on May 16 was a peaceful one.

It may be recalled that Patna has always been the epicentre of pro and anti-quota demonstrations which had first started in 1978 when the then Chief Minister of Bihar Karpoori Thakur had introduced quota for OBCs and Extreme Backward Castes (EBCs).


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