Kurmi chakka bandh cripples life in Jharkhand
The daylong chakka jam called by Kurmi leaders to protest against the alleged “humiliation” meted out to Sabita Mahato, widow of ex-deputy CM late Sudhir Mahato, crippled normal life across the state on Wednesday.india Updated: Feb 05, 2014 22:19 IST
The daylong chakka jam called by Kurmi leaders to protest against the alleged “humiliation” meted out to Sabita Mahato, widow of ex-deputy CM late Sudhir Mahato, crippled normal life across the state on Wednesday.
Markets remained closed in all major towns and cities including Ranchi, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and Bokaro and other paces.
Long-distance buses and other heavy vehicles stayed off the road while very few private vehicles plied on the national highways.
Supporters, armed with sticks and traditional weapons, blocked the national and state highways. A number of private schools and firms had also declared holiday.
Minor clashes between bandh supporters and commuters were reported from several parts of the state. Agitators, in a bid to show their anguish, torched tyres and burnt effigies of senior JMM leaders across the state.
Jharkhand Police had deployed large number of security forces at all major places to prevent any untoward incident. Police forces were sighted patrolling at all important squares of the major cities and highways.
The Kurmi population -- traditionally an agrarian community making up around 25% of the state population -- are up in arms after the ruling JMM leadership invited Sabita Mahato to file nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections but sent her back at the last moment after announcing support to alliance parter, RJD's candidate Premchand Gupta.
Soon after the “humiliating” decision, three JMM legislators from the Kurmi community resigned.
The statewide road blockade was called to express the anguish by Kurmu Sangarsh Morcha supported by other senior Kurmi leaders.
No incidence of violence was reported in the state capital, though commuters including employees of private firms and college students had to face tough time as a handful of auto-rickshaws and other public transport plied on the roads.
In Jamshedpur, clashes between supporters and commuters were reported in different corners of the city.
In Dhanbad, supporters burnt effigy of chief minister Hemant Soren and JMM chief Sibu Soren at Randhir Verma square and chanted anti-JMM slogans to mark the protest.
Bokaro DIG Deo Behari Sharma was stopped for around two hours by agitators near Kapuria More while he was on his way to Dhanbad from Bokaro.
Mahato's supporters also blocked the national highway 23 that connecting Bokaro to Ramgarh for more than 2 hours at Bhahadurpur. Traffic was also blocked at Peterwar, Tupkadih, Phusro and other parts in the district.
A total of 619 bandh supporters were arrested from Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Seraikella-Kharsawan, Bokaro and Dhanbad.
(With inputs from Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bokaro correspondents)