Oppn-sponsored Jharkhand bandh passes off peacefully, hits normal life

The day-long bandh hit the normal life in most parts of the state with schools and markets remaining shut and public transport, especially long distance buses, coming to standstill.

ranchi Updated: Jul 06, 2018 15:04 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
jharkhand bandh,hemant soren,jharkhand news
The day-long bandh hit the normal life in most parts of the state with schools and markets remaining shut and public transport, especially long distance buses, coming to standstill. (Manoj Kumar/ HT Photo )

Opposition parties’ sponsored Jharkhand bandh on Thursday against changes in Land Acquisition Act passed off peacefully barring few minor incidents of skirmishes.

However, the day-long bandh hit the normal life in most parts of the state with schools and markets remaining shut and public transport, especially long distance buses, coming to standstill.

A total of 18,973 bandh supporters along with top leaders of opposition parties including JMM working president Hemant Soren, former Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahai, JVM-P chief Babulal Marandi, Congress’ state president Ajay Kumar were detained by noon, soon after they hit the streets seeking support from the residents.

State government termed the bandh a ‘failed effort’ but opposition parties called it a big success as heavy deployment of forces could not instill confidence among people and they choose to stay indoors.

Chief minister Raghubar Das said, “As per my information, people have rejected the bandh. They have chosen politics of development over negative and anti-development politics of the opposition.”

Leader of opposition Hemant Soren said, “Government put all its machineries to make the bandh a failure but people right from villages to towns came in support of the bandh. Heavy deployment of forces by the government also gave us a feel that we are still living under British raj.”

In an unprecedented manner, the state government had been preparing for Thursday bandh for the past few days in order to maintain law and order situation in the state, with deployment of over 5,000 police force and magistrates.

Besides, two companies of rapid action force (RAF), six companies of rapid action police, 3,100 home guards, 300 high patrolling vans, tear gas and riot control units were also put into service.

The opposition parties in Jharkhand had jointly called the bandh to protest against the amendment in Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

The President has recently assented to the state government’s proposed amendment in the Act, promising speedy acquisition of land for ‘public purposes,’ including schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, housing for poor, irrigation, extension of railway lines and electrification.

The amendment will provide the state government exemption from undertaking mandatory social impact assessment (SIA) study before acquiring land for the public purposes, alleged the opposition parties.

Bandh supporters took to the streets since morning. They burnt tyres on roads and put up road blockades on few national as well as state highways. The protestors also halted a couple of trains at few stations.

Bhubaneshwar Rajdhani express was stopped for 15 minutes at Bokaro station while Patna-Howrah Jansatabdi express were delayed by 20 minutes at Madhupur railway station in the morning by the bandh supporters.

However, administrations of respective districts brought situation under control by detaining the protesters.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 15:04 IST