Shutdown hits rail, road traffic in Bihar
The Bihar bandh called by RJD and Left parties on Friday, which coincided with countrywide shutdown called by the Opposition parties in protest against farm bills, remained peaceful by and large but hit normal life across the state.
The RJD and Left parties had given call for statewide shutdown in protest against the alleged assault on Opposition MLAs in the Bihar Assembly earlier this week.
Despite heavy police deployment on major roads and national highways, protesters blocked several state highways and Mahatma Gandhi Setu, affecting vehicular traffic and causing logjams.
There were reports of protests on railway tracks at many places, leading to disruption in rail services and affecting movement of more than 16 passenger/Express and goods trains.
In Patna, hundreds of RJD supporters, including some minors, stormed the railway station and bus stand carrying sticks and party flags, but they were chased away by police personnel. Vehicles, both private and public, including city buses, stayed off the roads in the state capital.
Though business establishments remained shut, schools, colleges and government offices functioned as normal.
According to the state police headquarters, rail and road traffic was disrupted at Gaya, Jehanabad, Saharsa, Madhepura, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Madhubni, Bhojpur, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura ,Nawada and Bhagalpur districts. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at railway stations, bus stations and taxi stands since morning.
“There was no major untoward incident,” said Patna SSP Upendra Sharma.
ADG (headquarters) Jitendra Kumar said the shutdown remained peaceful by and large.
More than 500 RJD and CPI (ML) leaders and activists were taken into preventive custody across the state.
Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said he didn’t himself participate in bandh due to death of his uncle. Talking with reporters, he said RJD has also given its support to the nationwide strike called by the farmers’ unions.
“Speaker is our custodian. The police used baton charge and thrashed legislators in the Assembly premises only after the instruction of Nitish Kumar. The chief minister is likely to put pressure on Speaker, but RJD has faith in him,” Yadav said.
On Thursday, Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha has asked top administration and police officials to probe into manhandling of legislators in the Assembly and identify the police officers involved for suitable action.