As the BJP raised a hue and cry in the Rajya Sabha over the police lathicharge on senior leader Yashwant Sinha in Ranchi, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said he was “distressed and unhappy” over the incident.
“I am distressed and unhappy that such an incident took place...I am not passing a judgement on the issue,” he said after the main opposition forcefully raised the matter twice in the House since the incident occurred last week in Jharkhand, a state which is now under President’s rule.
Chidambaram said he has received a copy of the report sent by the Jharkhand police chief on the incident and narrated the sequence of events.
He said the police first used water cannons on the demonstrators and then resorted to a mild lathicharge in which Sinha and others were injured.
Refuting Sinha’s claim that no first-aid was provided to him and others injured in the lathicharge, Chidambaram said the Circle Officer of Namkum accompanied Sinha to the hospital for a check-up.
The Home Minister’s statement came after the House condemned the police action and the Chair directed the government to inform about the action taken.
Responding to questions raised by members whether the House has been informed about Sinha's arrest, Chidamabaram said that the Jharkhand police chief has said in the report that the district administration had faxed a message to the RS Secretary General and on being advised that it should have been sent to the RS Chairman, another fax was sent to him.
The Home Minister said Sinha and two MLAs were arrested at around 1430 hours and released at 1700 hours on that day.
Offering sympathies to the injured, he hoped that such demonstrations were conducted peacefully and "no cause is given for any action by police."