Two held, 16 booked for throwing stones at chief minister

February 9th, 2008 - 10:15 pm ICT by admin  

Patna, Feb 9 (IANS) Police arrested two farmers and filed cases against 16 Saturday, a day after an angry mob in Bihar’s Nalanda district threw stones at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanding more compensation for their lands acquired to set up a university there.

Police initiated action against those found involved in the incident following a preliminary inquiry into it,” police sources said, adding two people have already been arrested.

The farmers of Pilkhi village gave vent to their anger at what they consider low compensation for their lands during former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Nitish Kumar’s visit to the site at Rajgir near Nalanda, about 100 km from here.

The farmers were also protesting against the delay in grant of compensation and alleged officials demanded bribes to prepare their mutation papers.

Protesting farmers shouted slogans against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and District Magistrate Anand Kishore for not giving them adequate compensation for farmlands acquired for the project,” a police official said.

Upset over the incident, Nitish Kumar said Friday it was engineered by vested interests and had hinted there would be police action against people behind it.

I was shocked and surprised when some people suddenly threw stones that hit my head. The incident was engineered, I have asked the district magistrate to investigate the matter thoroughly,” he said.

Nalanda is the home district of Nitish Kumar where he is regarded as more popular than any other leader of Bihar.

The Bihar government has acquired 446 acres of land at Rajgir near Nalanda to set up an international university. Government officials claimed that the farmers had been paid compensation, but were demanding more money.

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