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Bihar bandh: Normal life hit
May 24, 2005 10:39 IST
Last Updated: May 24, 2005 19:49 IST
The National Democratic Alliance-sponsored Bihar bandh on Tuesday to protest against the Centre's decision to dissolve the state assembly caused disruption of train services and forced shops and business establishments to remain closed.
Train service was affected as NDA supporters squatted on tracks and staged dharnas at a few railway stations.
Most shops in the main towns remained closed.
Supporters of senior Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar sat on dharna at Barh railway station, disrupting movement of trains on the vital Patna-Kiul-Howrah section for several hours, East Central Railway sources told PTI.
Several trains, including the Danapur-Tatanagar Express, Akaltakht Express, Toofan Express and Hatia-Patliputra Express were detained at different stations on Patna-Kiul section. The bandh supporters also squatted on rail lines at Khajauli railway station on Darbhanga-Jaynagar section.
NDA activists blocked the track at Chakia station on Muzaffarpur-Raxaul section and cut the hosepipe of the Howrah-Raxaul Mithila Express.
They were later chased away by security men, the sources said. In all, 25 BJP and JD-U supporters were arrested while trying to enforce the bandh call in Ara town where shops and other establishments were closed.
Though private bus operators suspended their services across the state as a precautionary measure, state-run buses plied as usual with escorts.
In the state capital, the NDA workers took out processions in different localities to enforce the call.
The BJP activists also smashed windscreens of some vehicles near the party headquarters in Patna. The bandh supporters also exchanged blows with policemen while they were trying to block the Dan bungalow, but the police succeeded in chasing them away.
The BJP and JD-U claimed that the bandh was "a grand success" and thanked the people for supporting the call, while the RJD said the bandh failed to evoke any impact and rail and road traffic were normal.
As many as 13,500 personnel of Bihar Military Police and central forces were deployed across the state to assist the local police.
The NDA called for the bandh to press for removal of Governor Buta Singh after he recommended the dissolution of the Bihar assembly.