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Bihar: Pro-quota rally turns violent

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 19, 2006 19:05 IST
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Pro-reservation medical students and doctors were lathi-charged by policemen in Patna on Friday after the rally they were staging turned violent.

Coverage: The Reservation Issue

Police said agitators attacked media and police personnel, who retaliated with a heavy baton-charge. About 35 people, including 15 members of the media and policemen, were injured in the action.

Bihar Chief MInister Nitish Kumar has directed state police chief Ashish Ranjan Sinha to probe the incident and submit a report.

Quota: A solution in sight

Claiming that the media was 'suppressing' the proposed 27 per cent reservations for Other Backward Classes in institutions of higher learning, protestors launched an unprovoked attack with sticks and other objects at hand on photo-journalists and television cameramen covering their rally.

Hundreds of students and resident doctors, who had taken out the procession from Gandhi Maidan shouting slogans against those who opposed reservations, also attacked policemen in the busy Dak Bungalow roundabout.

Graphic: Anti-quota fire engulfs India

Police then resorted to a heavy baton-charge against the protestors, leaving over 20 of them injured, officials said.

Photographers of the Press Trust of India, Times of India and Hindustan Times, cameramen of Star News and Aaj Tak television channels and some journalists were injured. Couple of lensmen suffered head injuries and were rushed to Patna Medical College Hospital.

Senior Superintendent of Police Kundan Krishnan told PTI that apart from cameramen and journalists, four policemen were also injured.

Eyewitnesses claimed they saw policemen mercilessly beatingĀ up students, who scurried for cover on Frazer road.

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Krishnan said, "We suspect some anti-social elements mixed with the pro-quota supporters and perpetrated the violence." Vehicular traffic near the Dak Bunglow roundabout was disrupted for over two hours due to the clashes. The traffic resumed after police personnel were rushed to the area from the city control room.

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