The official vehicle of the minister, who was chief guest at the programme was also torched  by the crowd which went berserk after the police tried to stop it from climbing on the stage on Tuesday night, when noted Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh was performing.

Calling the incident "pre-planned" Superintendent of Police (SP) of Rohtas Chandan Kumar Kushwaha today said six persons have been arrested and raids are being conducted to nab others involved in it. An FIR has also been lodged in this connection against six named and 500 unidentified people.

"The minister was hit with a stone in the chin. We shielded him and managed to pull him out from the crowd before anything untoward could happen. His car was parked near the stage and somebody poured petrol on it and set it on fire before the driver could take it out," the SP told.

Police officers said they had to try very hard to save the minister, who was in the danger of being lynched by the crowd.

"We have launched investigation in the attack over the minister as the incident seems to have been preplanned. One of the nabbed persons was carrying petrol in a bottle. Why would anybody bring petrol to a cultural function," asked the SP.

The programme had attracted a huge crowd, which came to listen to the popular Bhojpuri singer. It started surging towards the stage in excitement and became uncontrollable when security personnel and event managers tried to stop it.

Though local MLA Jawahar Prasad, District Magistrate Radha Kishore Jha, SP and several other officials were present with their security personnel, they could not check the crowd.

It soon turned into free for all. Bricks, stones, chairs, bamboo pieces, slippers and whatever else came into the hand of the mob were thrown towards the minister, officials and the singer.

The injured minister could not be reached despite several efforts as his mobile was switched off.

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