Several members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, were injured on Thursday when police opened fire and resorted to a baton-charge during a march here against the “collapse” of the education system in Bihar.
Some policemen were also injured as the protesters threw stones while BJP leaders compared the incident to the “Jallianwala Bagh police firing”.
The ABVP has called a State-wide bandh on March 30 to condemn the police action. The BJP has said it will boycott the ongoing Budget Session of the Assembly from Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, marching from the Gandhi Maidan, the students tried to reach the Assembly gate near R-Block, a thoroughfare, defying security curbs.
“The police resorted to a baton-charge when the protesters broke open the gate and started stoning policemen,” Senior Superintendent of Police Jitendra Rana said.
Later, backed by a heavy reinforcement, the police opened fire in the air to break up the protesters and arrested more than two dozen students. “The injured students have been admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital, and 25 of them have been taken into custody,” Mr. Rana said.
As the BJP MLAs came to know of the incident, they reached the Assembly gate and started a protest.
Earlier, the BJP members created a ruckus in the Assembly in support of the adjournment notice given by four of their colleagues to protest the decline in education. They trooped into the well and shouted slogans. The Speaker adjourned the House till 2 p.m.
“The police firing and baton-charge on the protesters remind us of the Jallianwala Bagh incident,” BJP State president Mangal Pandey said. Later, Mr. Pandey, along with senior party leader Sushil Kumar Modi and Union Minister Giriraj Singh, visited the hospital to meet the students.