Congress' 'Buddha to Gandhi' march attacked in Bihar, several injured

Several persons were injured when miscreants attacked Congress' 'Buddha to Gandhi' march in Jehanabad district of Bihar on Sunday.

PTI| Updated: Mar 22, 2015, 23:22 PM IST

Patna: Several persons were injured when miscreants attacked Congress' 'Buddha to Gandhi' march in Jehanabad district of Bihar on Sunday.

Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) President Ashok Chaudhary said the attack happened near Bigha More under Makhdumpur police station in Jehanabad, around 45 kilometres south from the state capital.

Chaudhary added that the injured include BPCC Secretary Dhiru Yadav, BPCC Minority Cell Chairman Minnat Rahmani and party leader Baleshwar Ram from Saharsa.

"We do not know the ruffians who attacked us. They showed black flags to us and pelted stones. The police personnel with the march chased them away. I feel those who are afraid of this march are behind the cowardly attack," Chaudhary said.

The BPCC President said 700 persons from different parts of Bihar are participating in the march. They have halted at Jehanabad town for the night, and will start on the onward journey tomorrow morning. He added that former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh will be joining the 'padyatra' on March 24.

However, BPCC Chief Spokesperson HK Verma blamed disgruntled elements and former office bearers of Jehanabad District Congress Committee for the attack and demanded their immediate arrest.

"We recognised some of the attackers as former office bearers of Jehanabad District Congress Committee. They attacked the marchers with sticks and stones. Among the injured, Yadav has suffered head injuries and fractures in his hand. He has been brought to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) for treatment. Rahmani has suffered stomach injuries," Verma said.

Jehanabad Superintendent of Police (SP) Aditya Kumar also

pointed towards rift among the party factions as the reason behind the attack and added that nobody has come forward to lodge an FIR despite requests by the police.

"It seems the attack was a result of rift between two groups. We asked them to lodge an FIR but nobody turned up," the SP said.

The Congress has organised the 350-kilometre march to protest the land acquisition bill and "anti-farmer, anti-labourer policies" of the Centre.

It has been named 'Buddha to Gandhi' as it started on March 20 from Bodh Gaya, the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and will end at Bhitiharwa in West Champaran district, where Mahatma Gandhi started his historical 'satyagraha' in 1917 against forced indigo farming by the British.

The first phase of the march will end at Patna on March 25 after covering 110 kilometres, and the second phase will commence from Patna in the first week of April and cover the remaining distance to Gandhi ashram at Bhitiharwa.