Patna, April 12 (IANS) A youth was arrested on Thursday in connection with an attack on Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha during the Bharat Bandh in Bihar’s Vaishali district on April 10, police said.
“A youth has been arrested following an FIR lodged in connection with an attack on Minister Kushwaha by protestors against reservation policies during the Bharat Bandh in Vaishali,” a district police official said.
The official said the arrested youth was being interrogated to get more information about other people involved in the attack.
“Police are in the process of identifying more accused with the help of a video footage. Others who were involved in the attack will be arrested soon,” police said.
The incident happened during the April 10 Bharat Bandh called by various groups to protest against caste-based reservation policy.
The protestors manhandled and abused OBC leader Kushwaha after forcibly stopping his vehicle near Hajipur in Vaishali while he was on his way to Motihari district to take part in a programme to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Kushwaha subsequently could not take part in the Prime Minister’s event — National Convention of Swachhagrahis — in Motihari.
Kushwaha, Union Minister of State for Human Resource and Development and President of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) which is part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, blamed “miscreants who believe in feudalism” for the attack.
Kushwaha later said that he was attacked during the Bharat Bandh for supporting the backwards and Dalits.
“I will continue to fight for backwards and Dalits and will always raise my voice on their behalf,” he said.
Soon after the attack on Tuesday, Kushwaha said: “I was going to Motihari to take part in the Prime Minister’s programme. Some people with feudal emblematic and those opposed to social equality blocked the road in Loma village of Hajipur. When I tried to persuade them, they manhandled me and used derogatory words against Dalits and backward community,” he said in a series of tweets.
Kushwaha had joined other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allies in asking the government to file a review plea in the Supreme Court against its order allegedly diluting a law on atrocities against Dalits and tribals.
In a letter to Modi, he said the order would make it difficult for people from these communities to get justice and added that it had caused a lot of anger and discontent among them.