Shaken up by the violent incidents on Tuesday which claimed the life of a student, the Bihar administration has announced the passing of a Bill in the coming Assembly session to keep a check on fraudulent coaching institutes across the State.
According to police sources, 4,000 to 5,000 students went on the rampage, protesting against illegal practices of fraudulent coaching institutes across the city. The riot left dead Sachin Sharma, a student from Bihar Sharif, besides injuring six students and several policemen.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed Patna District Magistrate Jitendra Sinha to ensure that coaching institutes finish their syllabus on time.
While clarifying that the police did not open fire, Senior Superintendent of Police Vineet Vinayak said Sachin’s death was an unfortunate accident.
“One student grabbed a rifle from a security guard and threw it down. The gun went off and the bullet hit Sachin, who later succumbed to his injuries at the Patna Medical College Hospital. As of now, nobody has been arrested.”
Mr. Vinayak said the police were keeping a watch on anti-social elements among the students, some of whom had used firearms during the rampage.
The Chief Minister condoled Sachin’s death and announced Rs.1.5 lakh as ex gratia for the bereaved family.
The trouble started after some students protested against ill-treatment by a private coaching centre owner and not completing the syllabus. Soon students ransacked around 50 private institutes in the Bazaar Samiti area of Patna. They damaged vehicles and tore down banners of coaching institutes, prompting the police to use teargas shells and resort to lathi charge.
Principal Secretary Human Resource Department Anjani Kumar Singh held an emergency meeting on Wednesday between students and owners of private coaching institutes.
Later, Mr. Sinha said both had given suggestions, which would be taken into account once the law was passed.
“We have ordered all coaching institutes who made promises to students to keep their word. You cannot say we will teach subject X, and then not do that,” said Mr. Sinha.
Opposition parties, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), criticised the Nitish Kumar government for the student violence.
Condemning the lathi charge, RJD chief Lalu Prasad declared that “the entire education system in Bihar was in the hands of the mafia.”
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the circumstances leading to Sachin’s death, LJP head Ram Vilas Paswan said “instead of restricting the mushrooming of private institutes, the government was suppressing students by cracking down on them.”
LJP spokesman Shailendra Pratap Singh said the Dalit Sena Federation and the LJP’s student wing would stage a rally on February 15 in protest against Sachin’s death.