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Bharat Bandh: Cabinet Minister Kushwaha Roughed up by Anti-reservation Protesters in Bihar's Hajipur

Muzaffarpur, Begusarai, Lakhisarai and Arrah have been badly hit. Pitched battles between anti and pro-reservation groups were reported from these districts.

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Updated:April 10, 2018, 3:51 PM IST
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Bharat Bandh: Cabinet Minister Kushwaha Roughed up by Anti-reservation Protesters in Bihar's Hajipur
(Image: TV Grab)
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New Delhi: Union minister of state for HRD Upendra Kushwaha was on Tuesday manhandled by anti-reservation protesters in Bihar's Hajipur town.

The incident occurred while the union minister was on his way to Champaran, where the 100th anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha was to be honoured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by ushering in 'Swachhagraha'.

Kushwaha, who hails from OBC community, is the president of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, which is an ally of the BJP.

Still recovering from the communal riots, Bihar was again pushed into a fresh bout of violence when anti-reservation protesters hit the streets against the earlier bandh called by Dalit organisations on April 2.

Muzaffarpur, Begusarai, Lakhisarai and Arrah have been badly hit. Pitched battles between anti and pro-reservation groups were reported from these districts.

In Muzaffarpur, policemen, including ASP, DSP, were chased away by angry mobs in Gobarsahi area.

In Arrah, protesters managed to stop a train.

In western UP's Saharanpur district, which is the headquarters of the Bhim Army, internet services were suspended at 7 pm on Monday. The district administration said internet services will be down for two days, till Wednesday, to avoid rumour mongering during the protests.

During the April 2 protests, Bhim Army supporters had occupied a 2 km stretch in the centre of Saharanpur, from Ghantagar Chowk to Kalpana Cinema. However, it was in the rural areas that some violence was witnessed. A police car had been vandalised by some protesters.

Other parts of western UP, including Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat, also suspended internet services. The Muzaffarnagar SSP said that they would contain "anti-social elements" on social media platforms as well and anyone inciting violence would be punished.

On April 2, protests had broken out across India against the alleged dilution of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 by the Supreme Court. Since then, Dalit outfits have been protesting the "unfair targeting" of Dalits after the April 2 protests turned violent. Four BJP MPs from UP have written to the Prime Minister, claiming that cops were targeting Dalits. Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad Raavan has launched a hunger strike from Saharanpur district jail, where he is lodged under the National Security Act.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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