At least half a dozen persons were injured in a violent clash between RJD and BJP workers in the Bihar capital on Wednesday, a day after IT raids in connection with alleged "benami" property deals involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family.
"RJD and BJP workers clashed violently by attacking each other with bamboo sticks and pelted stones at each other in which some of them were injured. They also shouted slogans with abusive language against top leaders of the rival party," a police official said.
The clash took place in front of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state headquarters office on the busy Birchand Patel Marg near the IT square in the heart of Patna.
"The two sides clashed for nearly half an hour in the presence of police officials, who hardly intervened initially and did not use force to control the situation. The police became active only after the situation went out of control," an eyewitness, who owns a pavement tea shop, said.
After police dispersed the Rashtriya Janata Dal workers, hundreds of angry BJP workers staged a protest by blocking the Birchand Patel Marg, demanding action against RJD workers.
The protest started when a group of Chatra (student) RJD workers, holding an "Akrosh march" to protest against the IT department raids on 22 locations involving Lalu Prasad, reached near the BJP office. They shouted slogans against the BJP and their leaders. In response, some BJP workers came out of their office and shouted counter slogans.
The RJD workers expressed their anger against senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who has addressed several press conferences in the past one month accusing Lalu and his family of "benami" property and corruption.
Later a group of BJP workers tried to attack the RJD office, located not far away from the BJP office, but police dispersed them.
RJD workers shouted slogans like 'BJP Ki goondagardi nahi chaalegi, Sampardayik aur Fascistwadi BJP hai hai'.
But when BJP workers started shouting slogans like "Lalu Chor hai" "Charaa Chor hai", "Lalu ko jail bhejo", the RJD workers got angry. Some RJD workers pelted stones, as alleged by BJP workers, after which both sides indulged in a free-for-all with bamboo sticks, bricks and stones.
Hundreds of armed police officials were deployed to control the situation, a senior police official said.
Reacting to the violence, Sushil Modi said that RJD goons had attacked the BJP office.
"It clearly shows the desperation of the RJD and its top leaders Lalu and his two sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, both ministers in the Bihar government led by Nitish Kumar," he said.
However, the RJD leaders claimed that a "silent" march of RJD workers was attacked by the BJP near its office.