Protestors Lathi-charged outside State Assembly; Dozens Hurt

Protestors lathi-charged outside Bihar Assembly on Thursday.

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Patna: Police in Patna resorted to lathi charge on activists under the banner of Bihar Navnirman Abhiyan who had gathered outside the state Assembly on Thursday to press for their demand, including the implementation of the Forest Rights Act of 2006.

More than 300 protestors representing various tribes in Bihar blocked the road outside the state Assembly and chanted anti-government slogans to demand for the implementation of Forest Rights Act that offers several social and economic safety nets to the tribal people.

When attempts to remove them peacefully failed, police sprung into action and showered the protestors with batons. This only aggravated the situation as protestors pelted the cops with stones and other objects causing injury to some of them

More than three dozen protestors, mostly women, were also hurt in the lathi charge and had to be taken to local hospitals for first aid.

The ruckus started around 11:00 am near the Shaheed Chowk and lasted for over an hour. Police bussed more than 200 protestors to various police stations where they were detained for several hours before being released.

Talking to the reporters, a member of the Bihar Navnirman Abhiyan said that the state government was deliberately ignoring the implementation of the Forest Rights Act by hiding behind bureaucratic process and procedure.

"While the state of Orissa has nearly completed the implementation of the Act benefitting over 3.5 tribal people, the Bihar government has so far recognized only 31 persons who are deemed eligible for benefit under the Forest Rights Act of 2006," he said.


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