Patna Police on Saturday lodged an FIR against RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and 18 others for staging a protest at Gandhi Maidan on Saturday. Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav had called for a protest in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
Senior leaders of the RJD, Left parties and Congress had staged a dharna at Gate Number 4 of the Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Saturday. Demonstrators were repeatedly informed by local authorities that the dharna was in violation of novel coronavirus guidelines. Mahagathbandhan ally CPI(ML) was the only alliance partner absent from the dharna.
However, they refused to budge.
In a tweet on Saturday, Tejashwi Yadav had said, “I am standing with the Annadata in their fight against the Dhandata. Is it a crime to raise voice in support of farmers demanding provision for Minimum Support Price (MSP) in the newly enacted laws. If it is a crime, then we will commit such crimes everytime.”
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) December 5, 2020
Prior to the dharna, Tejaswi Yadav had lashed out at Nitish Kumar government for welcoming RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat into the state.
MLAs Alok Mehta, Ramanand Yadav, former minister Shyam Rajak, Ramai Ram, former MLA Shakti Singh Yadav are among those whose names have featured in the FIR registered by Patna Police. Others include RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari, and former Congress Bihar unit chief Madan Mohan Jha.
The FIR has been lodged under sections 188, 145, 269 and 279 apart from relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
“Dharna inside Gandhi Maidan is not allowed as it is a ‘prohibited area’. If anyone has to stage a sit-in, they can do so at Gardanibagh which has been declared as designated place to hold dharna,” news agency PTI quoted a senior Patna District administration official as saying.
Gandhi Maidan in Patna remains open for four hours between 6 am and 10 am for morning walkers following which it is closed as per Covid-19 guidelines.