Patna: On August 5, members of left parties, who were protesting against the revoking Article 370 of the Constitution and dismantling of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, were abused, attacked and injured by a group of Bajrang Dal members in Patna. A day later, they have sought proper security during a nationwide protest on August 7 from the state government.
The state secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) Satyanarayan Singh said the government should take serious note of the attack by Bajrang Dal activists on the peaceful protest organised by left party members and supporters at Kargil Chowk, near the statue of Shahid Bhagat Singh in the heart of Patna on Monday evening. He said, “It is not only highly condemnable, but has also exposed the intolerant attitude of Bajrang Dal against a peaceful protest march.”
Singh told NewsClick that there should be proper security during the nationwide protest called by Left parties on August 7. He said, “The government has to provide safety and security of people during the peaceful protest as it is a part of our basic democratic rights.”
Demanding police action against the attackers, he said, “Police should identify them with the help of CCTV and take action for attacking peaceful protestors.”
Anish Ankur, a theatre activist, who was also attacked by Bajrang Dal activists during the protest march, said, “They tried to create fear by attacking us but failed. No doubt it was an attack to stop us from protest.”
He added, “A group of slogan shouting Bajrang Dal youths armed with bamboo sticks attacked us, when we were holding a protest meeting against the revoking of Article 370. Initially we were shocked but without wasting time we resisted their attempt to disperse us and opposed them. After that some of us countered them and caught hold of one youth who was leading them and chased the others.”
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“The youths who were carrying saffron flags first tried to provoke us by shouting slogans like ‘Nathuram Godse Zindabad and Nehru-Gandhi Murdabad (Nathuram Godse Long Live and Nehru-Gandhi Down Down) but we ignored them as we had gathered to stage a protest, not to fight with anyone. When they failed to provoke us, they abused and attacked us in whereby a few protestors were injured.”
He also claimed that Left activists have made a video clip of Bajrang Dal youths shouting ‘Nathuram Godse Zindabad’.
Sumant Kumar, a CPI member who sustained serious injuries on his head and face, told NewsClick that he was suddenly attacked by Bajrang Dal goons when he along with others were standing as a part of protest march. “I was left bleeding after my head was hit by a bamboo stick by the Bajrang Dal goons. They also hit my face with their hands.”
“Later I was admitted into the government run Patna Medical College and Hospital,” he added.
Some eyewitnesses, including vendors and rickshawpullers said that some youths armed with sticks and shouting Jai Shri Ram, attacked a group of people who were staging a protest without any provocation.
All left parties including the Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist), Socialist Unity Centre of India and others have decided to participate in the nationwide protest in the state on Wednesday.
Taking this in consideration, all police stations in Patna and other districts in the state have been alerted. Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Malik has ordered to speed up police patrolling in sensitive localities and additional police jawans have been deployed. Besides that, police jawans in civil dress will also be deputed at several places to keep a close watch on the activities of possible attackers.