Life hit in Bihar bandh; Lalu, Paswan among 5,200 detained

Life hit in Bihar bandh; Lalu, Paswan among 5,200 detained

Life hit in Bihar bandh; Lalu, Paswan among 5,200 detained

LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan waves to his party workers during the Bihar bandh against price rise, in Patna on Saturday. PTI Prasad, who arrived from New Delhi by a service flight in the afternoon, led a party procession which shouted slogans against the Centre and the state government and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Paswan claimed that the bandh was a grand success.

"The massive response to our bandh call suggests dissatisfaction of the people over the Central and state government's failure to check prices," he said. Paswan urged the Centre to roll back the increased prices of petrol, cooking gas, kerosene and diesel. Chief Minister Kumar, however, said "There was no impact of the bandh and people rejected it. It is a big flop.

"Had the two parties been serious about the price spiral, they would have joined the Bharat bandh called by Opposition parties on July 5." RJD and LJP activists took out processions on busy Bailey Road and Ashok Raj Path in the state capital and blocked the roads for several hours, official sources said.Most shops and business establishments remained closed though banks and other financial institutions were open.

Most offices of central and state governments wore a deserted look because of poor attendance. Bandh supporters burnt tyres and blocked railway tracks and national and state highways at various places in the state. The bandh evoked good response in Aurangabad, Gaya, Ara, Masaurhi, Nawada, Barh, Jehanabad, Gopalganj, Chapra, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and Saharsa.

Several trains were left stranded in Bihar because of the agitation. Among the trains running several hours behind schedule are New Delhi-Rajendra Nagar Terminal Rajdhani Express, Sampoorna Kranti Express, Ganga-Domadar from Dhanbad to Patna, Hatia-Patna Express, Janseva Express from Saharsa to New Delhi and several passengers trains and intercity express.

Long queues of trucks and other vehicles were seen waiting for clearance of roads on National Highway at Jarua, Ara, Aurangabad, Muzaffarpur and Sasaram as the protesters blocked the roads.

Official sources said about 5,200 activists of RJD and LJP including their top leaders were arrested. Among others detained were state RJD chief Abdul Bari Siddiqui, its newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Ramkripal Yadav, former Union ministers Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, J P Yadav and Kanti Singh.

This is the second bandh in the state this week. Normal life was hit in the state on Monday due to the Bharat bandh called by the NDA and Left parties.