Back home, Bihar students spew anger against Thackeray (Lead)October 22nd, 2008 - 3:50 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, Oct 22 (IANS) Protesters in various parts of Bihar Wednesday set ablaze a train and disrupted railway traffic in protest against assaults on north Indians by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists in Mumbai.”Protesting students ransacked several railway stations, damaged railway property and disrupted train traffic since Wednesday morning,” said A.K. Chandra, press officer of East-Central Railway said.
The police said the protesters targeted Patna, Jehanabad, Barh, Khusrupur, Sasaram, Purnia and Bhagalpur railway stations.
The rail traffic on Delhi-Howrah link was the worst hit. The police opened fire and cane charged a mob in Sasaram where a track was blocked that led to disruption of railway traffic on the Delhi-Howrah grand chord, according to the police.
Two AC and four general coaches of Durg-Danapur express were set ablaze at the Barh railway station. The protesting students also damaged ticket counters and vandalised platforms there.
The police baton charged and opened fire to disperse the protesters, but the protests continued.
The students were protesting the attacks by MNS activists on north Indian candidates, particularly from Bihar, who were appearing at a railway recruitment examination Sunday.
Youths who returned to Bihar Tuesday after being assaulted in Mumbai alleged that a candidate was killed by Raj Thackeray-led MNS supporters in Mumbai.
Pawan Kumar, 25, a resident of Bara-Khurd village in Nalanda district, about 100 km from here, was one of the hundreds of students from Bihar appearing for the exam in Maharashtra.
Police at the Patna railway station have filed an FIR against Thackeray and his supporters for the assault on the students from Bihar.
“A case was registered on the basis of the statement of the students who returned here Tuesday after being assaulted by MNS activists,” said D.N. Gupta, superintendent Railway police (Patna).
The Jehanabad, Bhagalpur, Purnia and Sasaram railway stations were also targetted. At the Khusrupur railway station, an agitated mob delinked the engine of an express train blocking the traffic.
According to the railway police, at least 25 students were detained in the morning from various places and extra security was deployed to control the situation.