Unhappy over the recent water-logging in Patna due to heavy rains and rising cases of dengue in the city, a youth on Tuesday threw ink at Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey as a mark of protest.
The incident occurred around noon, as Choubey was leaving the Patna Medical College and Hospital after meeting patients in the dengue ward. The youth, identified as Nishant Jha, approached the minister from behind and threw ink at him.
Choubey was not injured in the incident, which he blamed on “politics”. “There are some people who have been out to defame the government. It is all politically motivated. The government has been doing its job with all intensity,” he told the media.
The police have not booked the youth, who is associated with the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), headed by former Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav. Yadav, however, has distanced himself from Jha’s actions.
For his part, Jha claimed he threw the ink at the minister to protest against the rising cases of dengue in water-logged areas of Patna. He said, “When I lodged protest about the Patna water-logging on Twitter, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi blocked my account. We have to find some ways to lodge a protest… There has been a spread of dengue, mostly in areas which had been water-logged.”
The incident comes two days after Deputy CM Modi’s house was gheraoed by people affected by water-logging in the city.
This monsoon season, Bihar has reported 1,630 cases of dengue as of October 15, of which Patna alone accounts for 1,137 cases. In contrast, Bihar reported 2,002 cases of dengue for the whole of 2018, with Patna reporting about 1,300 cases.
Meanwhile, the Bihar government, in an attempt to fix accountability, has issued a showcause notice to 11 engineers of the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (BUIDCO). A showcause notice has also been served to 22 drainage system employees, and their payment has been also held.
In addition, a four-member committee headed by the state’s Development Commissioner has been formed to suggest corrective steps to check further instances of water-logging. The committee, which also comprises the principal secretaries from the Disaster Management, Road Construction Department, and Urban Development and Building Department, will submit its report within a month.