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Lukewarm response to VHP bandh

July 07, 2005 17:01 IST

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad-sponsored bandh, in protest against the Ayodhya attack, in Maharashtra, Bihar and Assam
on Thursday failed to evoke much response, excepting stray incidents of violence.

Hundreds of activists trying to enforce the bandh were rounded up in several places.

In Nagpur, some activists tried to set ablaze a bus, while others smashed windscreens of two other buses in the city.

Several schools and colleges remained closed due to non-availability of the school transport system, police said, adding that business establishments and shops were closed.

About 15 persons were detained in Kampte near Nagpur for forcing shopkeepers to down shutters, the police said.

In Bhandara, a state transport bus came under attack. In other parts of Maharashtra, however, the bandh barely evoked any response as business establishments and schools were open and traffic plied as usual.

Mumbai was exempted from the bandh.

There was little impact in Patna, where life went on as usual as banks, schools, business establishments and government offices remained open and recorded normal attendance. Traffic movement was also not affected at all.

More than 450 Sangh Parivar activists were rounded up in various places in Bihar as they were trying to enforce the
bandh, official sources said, adding that in Bhagalpur some activists trying to block trains were chased away by the police.

Reports from Bhagalpur, Ara, Buxar, Lakhisarai and Chapra said the bandh evoked good response with big shops and
business establishments downing their shutters and vehicular traffic plying in lesser numbers.

In Gaya town, around 75 bandh supporters, including senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former legislator Prem Kumar were detained while leading a procession.

In Assam, normal life was affected although no untoward incident was reported.

Shops and business establishments were closed and vehicles remained off the road in Guwahati, sources said, adding that attendance in government offices, banks and other institutions was thin.

Most of the schools were however closed due to summer vacations in Guwahati.

Rail and air services, however, functioned as per schedule, sources said, adding that the response was total in Barak Valley as well as in the districts in Upper Assam.

In Madurai, ten Bajrang Dal activists led by district unit chief Saravanan, were arrested when they tried to burn an
effigy of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistani flag on Thursday, the police said.

The police seized the effigy and the flag before the protestors could set them ablaze.


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