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Stones fly at BJP flag rally

Stones were thrown at a Tiranga Yatra (Tricolour rally) brought out by the BJP Yuva Morcha and led by the party's Bokaro MLA Viranchi Narain at Jamtara, 220km from Ranchi, this afternoon on Independence Day eve.

By Our Correspondent in Ranchi
  • Published 15.08.17
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Ranchi, Aug. 14: Stones were thrown at a Tiranga Yatra (Tricolour rally) brought out by the BJP Yuva Morcha and led by the party's Bokaro MLA Viranchi Narain at Jamtara, 220km from Ranchi, this afternoon on Independence Day eve.

At least six BJP workers were injured when around 100 people hurled stones at the rally carrying national flags at Dighari village, under Narainpur thana area, said to be communally sensitive, at 1.30pm.

Javed Ansari, the BJP's district minority cell president fractured his right hand. Bokaro MLA Narain said he narrowly escaped stone missiles but claimed the mob damaged his car's mirror.

The Bokaro MLA, who was leading the flag rally to nearby Narainpur Bazar, alleged the frenzied mob also tore national flags and shouted anti-national slogans. Police confirmed stone pelting but stayed mum on the other two allegations.

"I was coordinating Tiranga Yatra in Dhanbad and Jamtara. After finishing the Dhanbad leg, I moved to Jamtara, where near Jumman More, I was received by 150 BJP workers with national flags. We hardly went 1km on bikes and cars when at Dighari we were pelted with stones. The mob tore flags and shouted anti-India slogans," the MLA said.

Around 20 district police personnel, including Narainpur OC Surendra Prasad, were escorting the rally when the attack took place. Jamtara SP Jaya Roy, DC Ramesh Kumar Dubey and SDPO Pujya Prakash rushed to the trouble spot with more forces.

The OC said the attack was "unprovoked". Jamtara DC and SDPO confirmed stone pelting. But, the police stayed tight-lipped on whether provocative slogans were raised by people from both sides and if the mob tore flags or raised anti-national slogans.

So far, five villagers have been detained for questioning. "Reason for the attack will be known only after after probe. We are investigating whether Tricolours were torn or not," said the SDPO.

Narain, who along with BJP workers blocked Dhanbad-Jamtara Road briefly to demand arrest of stone-pelters, said he would not leave Jamtara till those who "insulted the national flag" and "attacked us" were held.

A resident said social tension had been brewing in Jamtara since last year.