Rashtriya Lok Samta Party chief Upendra Kushwaha and other leaders of the party were allegedly injured in a clash with police on Saturday after they were prevented from taking out a protest rally towards the Raj Bhavan in Patna, PTI reported.

“Police resorted to baton-charge at the behest of Nitish Kumar,” Kushwaha told ANI, adding that he was hit on the head.

Kushwaha, who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in December, had resigned from the Union Cabinet on December 10. He later joined the Congress-led “grand alliance” in Bihar.

The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party organised an “Aakrosh March” demanding education reforms in Bihar, PTI reported. The protestors, who were reportedly armed with sticks, raised slogans against the Nitish Kumar-led state government.

The police, however, stopped the protestors at Dak Bungalow, which is around two kilometres away from Raj Bhavan. When the protestors tried to force their way past the police cordon, officers resorted to baton-charging and tried to disperse the crowd using water cannons, PTI reported.

“It [the administration] remained indifferent when we began our march and came up with an abrupt order to halt when we reached Dak Bungalow crossing,” Kushwaha told PTI. “The police has acted at the behest of the dictatorial government in the state, which wants to crush all dissent,” he said.

The ruling Janata Dal (United) criticised the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party for “demanding educational reforms while carrying lathis in hands”. “What did Kushwaha do for improving the education system while he was the Union minister of state for HRD,” asked party spokesperson Ajay Alok.