Large scale violence and arson by contractual teachers and protesters marred Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's public meetings in Bihar's Khagaria and Begusarai districts held today to mobilize mass support for grant of special status to the state.
Official sources said the protesters, most of them contractual teachers, set on fire three motorcycles and a jeep belonging to the police near Khagaria district collectorate when they were prevented from entering the venue of the chief minister's public meeting.
The agitators also set ablaze eight to ten hoardings and pelted stones on vehicles of several civil and police officials damaging their window panes.
A mob later stormed into the office of the district magistrate Dharmendra Singh and ransacked furniture and other equipment at the collectorate, the sources said.
As a result of the violence, Kumar's public meeting scheduled for 3 pm could not start till 5 pm as Director General of Police (DGP) Abhayanand tried his best to bring the law and order situation under control but failed to rein in the protesters.
The police trying to disperse the protestors burst teargas shells and fired several rounds in the air. They also lathicharged some protesters who pelted stones on the police.
There was, however, no report of casualty or injury to anyone in the violence by the protesters and subsequent police action.
Kumar finally addressed the meeting at around 5.30 pm where he asserted he would ensure Bihar got special status for development of the state.
A group of protesters set on fire record room in Khagaria district collectorate, the sources said. Kumar later left for Madhepura district under tight security arrangements, they said.
Earlier in the day, contractual teachers waved black flags, threw eggs and slippers and shouted slogans at his public meeting in Bihar's Begusarai district demanding regularization of services.
The sources said a group of protesting teachers suddenly sprung up from among the local people waiting to welcome Kumar on the road to Gandhi stadium, the venue of the public meeting, waved black flags and raised slogans in support of their demands.
Some protesters ran waving black flags as Kumar's motorcade moved past them. Protesters owing allegiance to NSUI threw slippers at Kumar's motorcade protesting against acute power shortage and shouted slogans against the state government.
A large crowd of protesters gathered also at the stadium, raised slogans against the chief minister and threw eggs at the dais on which Kumar and other dignitaries were seated, the sources said.