Taregna has been waiting for its day in the sun for a while now. And it’s not going to let the Maoist call for a 24-hour bandh in Bihar and five other states, which coincides with the total solar eclipse on Wednesday, spoil its fun.
The small town in Bihar, once a Maoist hotbed, will supposedly have the best view of the eclipse and has been seeing a steady stream of visitors. To make sure things go off smoothly, unprecedented security arrangements have been made.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was scheduled to reach Taregna on Tuesday evening but had to defer his visit till the next morning for security reasons.
Taregna and neighbouring Masaurhi town have been turned into fortresses. All along the 30-km Patna-Taregna stretch, over 400 jawans have been deployed with anti-riot and anti-mine vehicles positioned at important points.
The police brass visited the newly-built Sadar Hospital, whose roof has been turned into an observatory, to review security arrangements.
“A large number of paramilitary personnel besides jawans of the Bihar Military Police, District Armed Police and Special Auxiliary Police have been deployed at Taregna and adjoining areas,” said DIG, Central range, J.S. Gangwar.
But DGP D.N. Gautam said he wasn’t too worried. “I am here as it is a big event... It is time to savour an astronomical delight that Aryabhatt experienced and talked about more than a thousand years ago."
The CPI (Maoists) have called for a bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Chhattisgarh to protest the rise in prices of essential commodities and petroleum products.