| Policemen at Sardar Patel Hostel after the clash on Thursday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Tension erupted in Bhikhna Pahadi on Thursday morning after a large group of boarders from Sardar Patel Hostel engaged in fisticuffs with residents and badly beat up one of them.
The injured, identified as Raja, has been admitted to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in a critical condition.
Patna police have initiated an immediate eviction drive from the hostel because sources said that “angry residents were planning revenge”.
On Tuesday night, too, a clash had broken out between the residents and the boys over a trivial issue. Even crude bombs were hurled, resulting in injuries to people from both sides. The police said tension has been brewing between boarders and residents for a couple of days now.
“The boarders of Sardar Patel Hostel are known for their mischief and criminal activities. They get into fights with residents and the traders in the area over petty issues,” an officer at Kadamkuan police station said.
In March 2013, a boarder was gunned down after some residents raided a hostel late in the night. It was a retaliation after boarders went on the rampage in the Chai Tola area, damaging property and beating up people. A day before, a boarder had got into an argument with a shopkeeper, resulting in the clash.
The police did not want a repeat of 2013 and so took steps to evict the boarders.
Around 9am on Thursday, a group of boarders of the Sardar Patel Hostel allegedly beat up Raja, the son of a local shopkeeper. He was beaten up with iron rods and sticks and was left bleeding profusely.
“The tension has been brewing since Tuesday’s clash. The boys had targeted Raja. They hurled two crude bombs to terrorise the people of the area. Once the police came to know about the incident, a large number of personnel from different stations were deployed at the spot apart from a Rapid Action Force team. The area has been cordoned off and the hostel main gate has been locked so that outsiders couldn’t enter. Later, the boarders were sent home because we came to know that a few residents were planning a raid in the hostel,” another police officer said.
The Sardar Patel Hostel is a private facility being run by Patel Sewa Sangh, a non-government organisation.