PATNA: Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the controversial MP from Madhepura in Bihar, was injured along with scores of supporters of his Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), when police caned them during their protest march to the Bihar Assembly on Monday.
Hundreds of workers of JAP, the one-year-and-a-half-old party formed by the MP after his expulsion from RJD in May 2015, attended a large rally in the State capital to protest the average 55 per cent hike in power tariff, as well as demand a CBI probe into the Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) question paper leak case.
When police stopped the rally from nearing the State Assembly, where the budget session was in progress, JAP workers became violent and pelted stones at the police. This led them to use water cannons to disperse the crowd and when it failed, resorted to lathi charge, injuring nearly 40 workers.
Pappu Yadav, who was leading the rally was also injured and left the venue. He reached a local TV news channel office, where he claimed that more than 100 JAP workers were “severely hurt” and that nearly 200 others had “gone missing” from the venue. The MP, known for his provocative statements and constant attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, also claimed that the State government had planned to have him killed.
“Our workers heard two DSPs talking about the government order to have me killed right at the rally venue. Is this how a democracy functions? It is a citizens’ birthright to stage protests when democracy does not function properly,” said the MP, who is also the husband of Congress MP Ranjeeta Ranjan, who represents Bihar’s Supaul constituency in the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, an FIR was lodged against Pappu Yadav and 14 workers of JAP for attacking police and trying to forcibly reach the prohibited zone of the State Assembly. But before a team of policemen reached the news channel’s office to arrest Yadav, he left for his residence in Patna’s Mandiri along with scores of his supporters.
The cops and Yadav engaged in arguments for nearly an hour after the MP refused to be detained and demanded that police first get an arrest warrant issued against him from a court. The cops, led by DSP Shivli Nomani, displayed no eagerness to forcibly arrest the MP.
A doctor who examined Yadav said he had received “grave injuries due to beating”, and that his blood pressure had gone “very high”. Yadav, advised to take rest for a few days, said his party would organise a larger rally on April 14 to protest “massive corruption and incompetence of the Nitish-Lalu government”.