Rampage at Tej Pratap wedding
Patna: A riot-like situation erupted at the wedding of RJD chief Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav with former minister Chandrika Rai's daughter Aishwarya Rai on Sunday as thousands of hungry party workers and supporters ran amok, livid over not getting anything to eat at the gala event.
The food for the masses ran out soon after the " jai mala" ceremony at which Tej Pratap and Aishwarya exchanged garlands.
The hungry hordes then started raiding the segregated areas meant for VIPs, special guests and senior administrative officials to loot the delicacies prepared by Bhatia Caterers of Kanpur, who had been hired to serve around 10,000 people expected to attend the event.
However, over 40,000 people turned up at the wedding venue, the Bihar Veterinary College grounds in the state capital.
A large number of them had come from neighbouring districts and also the diara (river areas) between Patna and Saran districts.
As the food loot started, the people of the catering agency, security personnel and some lower and middle rung RJD leaders tried to stop them - in vain.
The food in the VIP area too got over within minutes and the huge mob started smashing crockery and running away with utensils. Some of them also overturned the food counters, while a group raided apples kept in cartons beneath one of the counters.
Some of the people on rampage also manhandled media persons.
"We had prepared for the big occasion, but hadn't expected this much of crowd. They destroyed our goods and equipment and also ran away with some utensils. Our people had to stand with sticks to protect our cooking and serving utensils," said a member of the catering team.
Sensing that the trouble might spread further, many RJD leaders and security personnel resorted to mild lathicharge to control the situation.
But by then the wedding venue ground resembled a battlefield with broken crockery, overturned counters, scattered chairs, and food strewn and here and there.
If that was not enough, a portion of the dais where the jai mala ceremony was to be conducted collapsed, injuring a few persons including a security person. The injured were taken to hospital.
All members of the families of Lalu and Chandrika were present on the dais when the incident happened.
However, security personnel and RJD workers quickly helped the injured and prevented the situation from escalating.