Uproar in Lok Sabha over Attacks on Bihari Students
Patna: Oct. 20, 2008
Members of Parliament from Bihar on Monday created a ruckus in the Lok Sabha demanding immediate arrest of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) segregationist leader Raj Thackeray and charges of sedition filed against him for inciting and ordering violence against students from Bihar and other parts of the country.
Calling Thackeray a traitor and a criminal, Janata Dal (U) leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh a.k.a. Lallan Singh said Thackeray was an enemy of the nation and dangerous for the unity of the country.
Singh also blamed the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav for the latest attack on Bihari students in Maharashtra.
"By not removing railway test centers from Maharashtra despite repeated violence against the candidates from north India, the Railway Minister had given a free hand to the goons of Thackeray to thrash and terrorize innocent people who were not Marathis," the JD-U leader said.
Shahnawaz Hussain, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, while describing Thackeray as a mental case driven by his dream of ruling Maharashtra one day, said that it was shocking to see that the UPA government was willfully ignoring all the violence and insults unleashed on the students from Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
"When are they (the UPA leaders) going to wake up from their slumber and how long the Biharis would endure such treatment in the hands of Thackeray and his goons?" asked Hussain.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Pashupati Kumar Paras and Ghulam Rasul Baliawi, while condemning the attack on Bihari students, asked the Railway Minister to cancel all railway exams in Maharashtra and shift the test centers to the northern parts of the country.
BJP leader and film star Shatrughan Sinha also came out in defense of the Bihari students calling the attack on them 'despicable, dangerous, and divisive'.
Appealing to the Prime Minister to intervene in the ongoing crisis, Sinha said if such trend were allowed to continue, it had the potential to engulf the entire country.
Widespread Protest against Attack on Students
Students under a number of political banners in Patna and Jharkhand on Monday took out a number of rallies and burnt the effigies of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for failing to prevent assaults on Bihari and Jharkhandi students in Maharashtra.
In Patna, activists under the Communist Party of India (ML) and All India Students Association (AISA) staged protests against Thackeray and burnt his effigies while demanding his immediate arrest.
"This man is like a mad dog and a threat to the civilized society who needs to be put away for good," said angry students in Kankarbagh while beating Thackeray's effigy with sandals and shoes.
Activists of the All India Crime Prevention Front president D. S. Rathor, during an anti-Thackeray rally in Patna, demanded dissolution of the Maharashtra government and arrest of the MNS leader under terrorist acts of the nation.
In Jamshedpur and Ranchi, students and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leaders took out protest rallies on Monday demanding arrest of Thackeray within a week.
"Attacks on Bihari and Jharkhandi students in Maharashtra have been growing unabated while the Maharashtra government continues to look the other way. Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who also hails from Maharashtra, also has chosen to ignore the systematic attacks on the people of Bihar and Jharkhand," said the protestors adding if Raj Thackeray was not arrested within seven days, they would be forced to intensify their stir that would 'flare up the entire country'.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra police, following a series of raids in Mumbai and Pune on Monday, arrested 1100 suspected MNS hoodlums.
No news of any attempt to arrest the mastermind of the crime, however.