Police uses tear gas, water cannons on Cong procession

Security personnel fire tear gas to disperse Congress workers during Jan Vedna March, in Patna, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Water cannons and tear gas shells were used by police here on Sunday to disperse leaders of the Congress party who staged a march in protest against the policies of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

The "Janvedna March" started from Sadaqat Ashram, the state Congress headquarters here and as it reached the Hartali Chowk the Congress leaders tried to breach the barricading in place and head towards the restricted zone where the Chief Ministers residence and Raj Bhavan are situated.

The Congress leaders got livid when septuagenarian legislator Ramdeo Rai fell on the ground after being shoved by police personnel. They tried to muscle their way through the posse of police personnel, who also lobbed tear gas shells and fired water cannons.

The agitated Congress workers were, subsequently, rounded up and taken to the Kotwali police station where they were let off after being detained for a few hours.

However, many of the Congress leaders staged a "dharna" outside the police station alleging that the police had acted in a "high-handed manner".

AICC in-charge of Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil, talking to reporters en route, said "we have taken out the march to highlight the failures of the Modi government which has squandered the sound foundations laid down by the previous Manmohan Singh regime. The current regime has been rubbing salts into the wounds of the people reeling under severe unemployment by insensitive statements like selling pakodas too should be considered a vocation".

Gohil, Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh, BPCC president Madan Mohan Jha, working president Kaukab Qadri and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra also took part in the procession.

"This is a strange behaviour of the state government, which has tried to throttle voices raised in a democratic manner by the use of brute force", Mishra alleged.

RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha also rushed to the police station to express solidarity with the leaders of the Congress. Both Congress and RLSP are part of the five-party Grand Alliance a conglomerate of opposition parties in Bihar headed by Lalu Prasads RJD.

Meanwhile, use of tear gas shells and water cannons - besides lathi charge also took place elsewhere in the city where police tried to disperse activists of the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) of controversial politician Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav.

The activists of the fledgling outfit had taken out the march in protest against the "failure" of the Nitish Kumar government to tackle the recent water-logging crisis in the capital city.

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