Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was hit with a slipper hurled at him by a youth protesting against a government advisory on lighting fires during a public interaction after which the offender was arrested.
Though the battery of photo journalists could not record the incident, Kumar told reporters the slipper struck him on the right side of his chest. He showed the imprint of the footwear on his white kurta.
“The chappal was very dirty as can be seen from the imprint left on the kurta,” he joked after the incident at his ‘Janata Ke Durbar Mein Mukhyamantri’ programme.
He said the youth was angry over the state government’s advisory to people asking them not to light fire for cooking and puja after 9 in the morning till 6 in the evening in a bid to check incidents of blaze due to the heatwave sweeping the state.
“The youth yelled at me asking if I am not a Hindu…stopping citizens observing puja during the day time and to vent his anger he threw his slipper at me,” Kumar said in the presence of DGP P K Thakur.
The youth, a namesake of the Chief Minister, had come to attend the programme with some request. He suddenly took off his slipper and flung it at Kumar before the security personnel present could intervene. He was overpowered and arrested.
Kumar said he had asked the DGP to let off the offender. “I told him (DGP) that even if somebody throws stones or fires bullet at me for working for the welfare of the citizens no case should be lodged against the attacker.”
Asked whether the incident was the result of a security lapse, the Chief Minister answered in the negative. “If suppose two of you fight here in the press conference itself in front of me, can it be prevented and will it be a case of security lapse?” he asked.
Defending the advisory, Kumar said, “Sitting on this chair and carrying the hope and faith of the people, it’s my duty to tell them what is good for them.” The advisory has the provision for a maximum of two years in jail for those violating it.