Groups of people went on the rampage in several districts during the Bihar bandh on Monday attacking public property, stalling road and rail communications and disrupting life.
National highways were blocked as were train routes, forcing near total paralysis of all communication routes. Over 10,000 people were taken into preventive custody, including 2,500 in Patna.
Clashes between protestors and police were reported from Saharsa, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur even as thousands were taken into preventive detention in most districts. Districts with a number of RJD, LJP, Left supporters saw major disturbance.
The CPI-ML and RJD led the days protests, which began early morning. From 9am onwards life in Bihar seemed to wilt.
A Samastipur report said the city witnessed stone pelting, road blockades with tyres set on fire even as rail traffic was totally paralysed. The impact on business and educational premises was total. Groups of people also stoned commercial hoardings resulting in thinning out of the streets by afternoon.
In Bhagalpur, NSUI activists joined by left groups went on the rampage targeting business centres and private and commercial traffic in which several vehicles were damaged. Trains were disrupted and the Vikramshila express also bore the brunt of public ire. The main disturbance centres was around the main chowk in Bhagalpur near the railway station.
In Nalanda, the chief minister’s hometown, the roads were empty and city marts downed shutters. There was heavy stone pelting on trains with the Shramjeevi express from Rajgir to New Delhi being stoned and damaged.
Reports from Bettiah in West Champaran spoke of disturbances by CPI-ML cadres resulting in trains being disrupted. The Raxaul-Delhi Satyagrah Express was brought to a halt. Clashes marred peace in Sitamarhi too, where protestors took on students in a violent expression and the police had to step in to douse the ire. In all these cities, shops and business premises were totally closed down.
Aurangabad al so woke upto major disturbances with the Grand Trunk road totally blocked , resulting in miles of trucks and commercial vehicles forcibly stranded. Government vehicles were selectively targetted by stone pelting mobs and damaged.
At Darbhanga, groups of people belonging to the Left and RJD blocked the railway station at Laheriasarai and brought trains to a halt. All business premises were closed and the traffic in town was negligible.
At Ara, CPI-ML activists blocked the main line, bringing several trains to a stop at various stations following blockade of both Up and Down lines. Traffic could be restored early evening.
The Patna -Gaya line and highways were blocked by RJD activists resulting in several trains being delayed and traffic being caught up ina snarl all the way to Masaurhi. Masaurhi town was totally closed.
In Vaishali, activists of the LJP and RJD joined hands to paralyse all traffic from Goraul in Muzaffarpur upto Paswan chowk in Hajipur city leading to the Hajipur-Saran, Hajipur-Motihari, Hajipur-Samastipur and Hajipur-Muzaffarpur routes being completely choked with traffic.
CPI leaders claimed, that several of its leaders were hurt in police action throughout the state especially at Begusarai and Khagaria, where their supporters attempted to paralyse the busy towns off National Highway 31. However, traffic was virtually paralysed with hundreds of truck paralysed all over.
In Muzaffarpur, police started a cane charge near Tilak Maidan around the administrative nerve centre following a protest demonstration and large scale disturbances. Over 400 people were detained following a lathicharge. The city streets were next to deserted till early evening. Trouble was also witnessed at Kanti, at Bochaha and Kudhani with 90% of the business establishments closed.
Siwan and Chapra also observed the bandh as did Gopalganj and Motihari in East Champaran while at Saharsa, groups stopped trains and effected road blockades resulting to restriction of traffic to Madhepura and Supaul.
Rumblings were reported from Kishanganj and Purnia too as also Kaimur, where the highway was blocked near Mohania by CPI-ML cadres. Protestors also effected blockades of the highways in Sasaram, which could be cleared only after 4pm.
Reports from Nawada said, the Ranchi-Biharsharif highway had been blocked as was the train route.