A shoe was today hurled at Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi by a youth during his weekly public interaction programme ‘Janata Durbar’ at his residence in Patna.
The youth, identified as Amritosh Kumar from Chapra district, however, missed his target and as the shoe fell near the Chief Minister.
Eyewitnesses said when the security personnel on duty caught hold of Kumar, he flung the shoe. He was then led out of the hall.
They said that Kumar broke the queue, shouting that the state government was dividing the society on caste lines.
Kumar claimed that he came to the chief minister to complain about his being implicated in a false case by police.
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Jitendra Rana, who was present at the venue, said the youth has been detained and taken to Sachivalya Police Station for interrogation.
Action would be initiated against him after detailed inquiry into the matter, the SSP said.
Manjhi later told reporters that the youth, a postgraduate student, who was standing behind five or six persons in the queue, turned furious and created a scene before his turn came to talk to the Chief Minister about his problem.
“A probe is on into the incident,” Manjhi said.
Asked about Kumar alleging that the state government was dividing the society on castes lines, the Chief Minister said, “I just talk about the poor who hail from SC, ST, extremely backward classes, OBC, minorities and even from forward castes and stress on their welfare.”
Asked whether there was any political link to the incident, Manjhi said he was not aware of the details which would emerge only after the probe.
Asked whether the incident pointed to security lapses, the Patna SSP said, “How can police prevent people from coming to events wearing shoes? Such incidents are accidental,” Rana said.
A woman had cut her wrist with a blade in one such public interaction programme when Nitish Kumar was the chief minister.
After the incident frisking was intensified at the chief minister’s residence before people were allowed to go inside for the weekly programme.
SSP Jitendra Rana said Kumar has been arrested under section 353 of IPC (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty) and is being taken to jail.
The youth told police during questioning that he went for such step for the sake of publicity, Rana said.
He revealed that his father, Muneshwar Singh, is associated with Aam Admi Party (AAP) and he (Kumar) wanted to draw media attention, Rana told PTI.
Rana said Kumar told him there was no specific complaint pertaining police atrocities and he had written a few lines in his complaint letter manifesting general grudge against the system.
Investigation revealed that government railway police at Phulwari Sharif had booked the youth for travelling without ticket. Two other cases were also registered against him at Hajipur and Isuapur in Saran district.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Prem Ranjan Patel said the act could not be justified but there was a need to see why people are getting dissatisfied with the government’s functioning.
“When CM himself says he is helpless as Cabinet ministers are not listening to him what to talk about a common man,” he said.
Congress Vice President and party’s Chief Spokesman Prem Chand Mishra criticised the act and said it pointed towards the trend of gaining “cheap publicity”.
RJD Spokesman Mundrika Singh Yadav also denounced the incident and sought a high level probe into it.