Bihar youths claim MNS killed candidate, vandalise Patna station

October 21st, 2008 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayPatna, Oct 21 (IANS) Youths who returned to Bihar Tuesday after being assaulted by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists while appearing for a railway recruitment exam Sunday, vandalised the railway station here to protest the alleged killing of a candidate by Raj Thackeray’s supporters in Mumbai. Pawan Mahto, 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 a railway recruitment exam in Maharashtra Sunday.

The son of a poor farmer, Pawan had hoped to improve his family’s standard of living by getting a government job. However, his dead body was brought back to Bihar Tuesday afternoon.

Pawan’s father Jagdish Mahto, who had come here to receive his son’s body, said: “The Mumbai police called and said he was killed in a stampede after MNS workers attacked north Indian students at the exam centre.”

However, the other candidates claimed Pawan was beaten up by MNS activists and succumbed to his injuries.

On Sunday, north Indian job aspirants, especially from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, were subjected to brutal attacks in more than 13 places in Maharashtra when MNS cadres vandalised railway recruitment centres and tore up examination sheets.

Hundreds of angry youths who returned to Patna shouted slogans against Raj Thackeray and vandalised the railway station to protest the state government’s alleged inaction and failure to protect Biharis. Many screamed that Pawan was killed by the MNS.

Shridhar Mandal, deputy superintendent of police, said: “The students vandalised the station. They are hurt and angry. We are trying to control the situation.”

Some students also filed a complaint against Thackeray at the Government Railway Police (GRP) station.

Alok Kumar, GRP station officer in-charge, said: “The students ransacked the station and shouted slogans against Thackeray.”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced compensation of Rs.150,000 to Pawan’s family. However, a relative of the dead youth said the entire Bara-Khurd village is in mourning and all residents have decided not to cook food till his last rites are performed.

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