Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bihar bandh evokes mixed response

TNN 25 November 2009,

PATNA: The CPI(ML)-sponsored Bihar bandh supported by four Left parties, including CPI and LJP, evoked mixed response on Tuesday. In the state capital, most of the schools remained opened. All the universities and colleges in the state too functioned as usual. There was little impact of bandh on the private vehicles, autos and rickshaws in Patna where all major business establishments remained open.

In Patna, however, the state administration’s bid to stop ML workers from taking out a march from their party headquarters here to make their presence felt in the state capital did not work as the party leaders resorted to guerrilla tactics to reach Dak Bungalow crossing, the favourite spot of the agitators in the town to reach to the people and lensmen.

Many batches could not make it and were detained midway near income-tax roundabout whereas a few batches led by former state secretary Ramjatan Sharma and Kamlesh Sharma succeeded in reaching Dak Bungalow crossing where some of the party workers had a minor scuffle with the police.

Patna district administration has virtually cordoned off the ML state party headquarters since morning. State Auxiliary Police as well as regular police jawans along with numerous regular police and private vehicles were stationed at different points on the Beerchand Patel Path right from income tax roundabout to the ML office.

The ML state headquarters’ claimed that around 10,000 ML workers were detained by the police during the bandh. It claimed that the bandh also affected movement of several trains.

Muzaffarpur: The bandh turned violent when a group of about 200 ML workers clashed with shopkeepers on Station Road here over forcible closure of shops leaving at least 20 people injured, half a dozen of them seriously.

Jehanabad/Arwal: Normal life was partially affected in Jehanabad during the bandh which by and large passed off peacefully amidst tight security though bandh in Arwal was near total where transport was off the road and commercial establishments remained closed.

Khagaria: Shopkeepers in some areas in the town downed their shutters when the organizers took out a procession through the areas. Madhubani: Hundreds of ML workers demonstrated in front of the collectorate here on Tuesday and disrupted traffic on the main road in the town. About 200 ML activists were arrested by the police and all of them were released after sometime.

Aurangabad: Bandh evoked good response in the district especially in rural areas where Maoists have a considerable influence. All shops and markets remained closed and buses did not ply in Dev, Madanpur Amba, Navinagar and Rafiganj blocks.

Bandh evoked mixed response in Kishanganj and East Champaran districts.

Siwan/Gopalganj: In Siwan and Gopalganj, hundreds of ML supporters took out a march and staged dharnas. A group of ML supporters blocked the Patna-Siwan main road. Party workers also stopped 475 Up passenger train there. As many as 250 ML supporters were arrested from different places in Siwan town.

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