Patna: Hundreds of people demonstrated in the Bihar capital on Wednesday, demanding that an electric crematorium near India's first president Rajendra Prasad's memorial here be shifted, police said.
"People shouted slogans when (Chief Minister Jitan Ram) Manjhi visited Rajendra Prasad's memorial here to mark his birth anniversary. They demanded that an electric crematorium near it be shifted," a police official said.
The protesters were led by Sanjay Verma, president of the National People Party.
Verma told IANS that the crematorium near Rajendra Prasad's memorial was an insult to him and also discourages tourists from visiting the place.
"What is the harm in shifting the crematorium to ensure the memorial's beautification," he said.
Verma said that in 2009, then Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar promised to shift the crematorium from Banshghat.
"But till date, nothing has happened," he added.
Located in the heart of Patna, the memorial is situated on the banks of the Ganges where Prasad was cremated. It was in a shambles till renovation work started a few years back. But even now, it serves as a den for criminals and drug addicts at night.
Prasad was born Dec 3, 1884 at Zeradei in Bihar's Siwan district and died Feb 28, 1963, in Patna. He served 12 years as the country's president - from 1950 to 1962 - and was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian honour. He spent the last months of his life at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna.