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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Nalanda, March 31, 2014
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar faced a hostile group of youths at his public rallies at Barbigha SKR College in Nawada parliamentary constituency and Asthawan Polytechnic College in Nalanda on Monday. The youths started raising slogans against growing corruption in the police department when the chief minister stood up to address the people in Nawada, while in Nalanda, the chief minister’s home district, the people were protesting against the lack of roads. “Road nahin to vote nahin (No road, no vote),” they shouted in unison.

The angry protestors broke chairs and even threw stones at the police personnel present at the venue. Five persons have been detained in this connection, the police said.

Though Kumar himself tried to pacify them, the youths kept shouting. Later, one of the youths was called onto the stage to talk to the chief minister.

Kumar told the gathering, “I am working for Bihar. Even if I lose my life serving Bihar and its people, I will not mind.” He said a section of the people had tried to create disturbance under some influence.

In Asthawan, as soon as Kumar moved towards the microphone to speak, residents of Pachetan and Aunda villages started shouting.

The JD(U)’s chief whip in the assembly, Shravan Kumar, and the police tried to pacify the villagers but they refused to stop. The police tried to use some force to restrain them, which led to some stone-throwing. One of the stones narrowly missed hitting Kumar.

Though he escaped unhurt, a stone hit the Nalanda minority cell district president Nadeem Zafar in the chest. This caused a commotion and the police arrested one of the youths who was hurling stones at Kumar and others on the podium.

However, an unfazed chief minister kept instructing the police from the stage not to do use force. He kept urging the agitated section of the people to calm down and handled the situation tactfully. It was only after the tension subsided that Kumar began his address.

“If the local MLA and MP have not been able to live up to the people’s aspirations in terms of development work, I will take it seriously,” he said, asking sitting MP Kaushalendra Kumar to apologise to the people. Kaushalendra did so.