Policemen injured in Wednesday’s clash revealed that they had to face stone-pelting mob outside the Lalit Narayan Mithila University convocation venue without shields and helmets.
Although senior police officers said the constables had been provided with such shields, those who faced the crowd’s fury had a different story. “We were not given any protectors and had to take the blow on ourselves. Initially, 50-60 people tried to gatecrash but when the President’s choppers landed, the crowd just grew manifold,” said Rabindra Paswan, one of the constables, who is admitted to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital.
Paswan added: “When we tried to stop the protesters, all of a sudden they grew angry and started pelting stones. Since a heap of stones were kept beside the road near Aayakar Chauraha, we kept on receiving hundreds of stones at a time.”
However, senior superintendent of police Garima Malik said: “The shields were there but the personnel on duty did not want to wear the heavy attire. Those who used it, could protect themselves during the clash.”
Malik said: “Clashes between police and residents broke out because we did not issue them permits to enter the venue where the President was addressing students. We had asked the university officials to make public aware that the President was on a visit to award degrees only but nothing was done about this.”
Twenty-eight people were sent to Darbhanga divisional jail on Thursday following arrests on Wednesday.