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Bihar bandh hits normal life: Lalu, Paswan detained

Last updated on: October 15, 2012 14:49 IST

The Bihar bandh called by opposition parties to protest against the killing of three people in police firing in Madhubani district on Monday affected normal life across the state.

Most shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in Patna and other districts. Railway tracks were blocked and both train and road traffic was hit.

The bandh had been called by the Left Front and was supported by the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Lok Janshakti Party, Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and others.

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan were detained in Patna on Monday during the Bihar bandh to protest against the state government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Several other opposition leaders including those belonging to the Left Front have also been detained by the policee.

Earlier, Lalu Prasad had taken to the streets in Patna and was seen shouting slogans while leading a protest march of hundreds of party workers.

"It is just a beginning, a symbolic fight. The real fight is yet to come. We will launch the final agitation against the Nitish Kumar government," Lalu said.

Paswan was also detained, along with dozens of LJP leaders and workers, in Patna. He had demanded the dismissal of the Nitish Kumar led-government in view of the "total collapse" of law and order in the state.

Opposition RJD leaders alleged that "when Madubani was burning after police opened fire at protestors, the chief minister was busy with his Adhikar Yatra".

"What happened in Madhubani is the responsibility of the state government. It was not the failure of only the local administration. Nitish Kumar has to apologise to the people," said Leader of Opposition in state assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

The violent protest in Madhubani started last Friday, after the police refused to hand over the body of one Prashant Kumar to his family members.

Soon, hundreds of people joined Kumar's family members. When the police refused to give in to their demand, the mob turned violent. Three people were killed in the ensuing police firing.

On Saturday, the authorities finally relented and handed over the body to Prashant Kumar's family.

Nitish Kumar has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and transferred the district magistrate and the superintendent of police with immediate effect.

According to police officials, several trains were forcibly stopped at various railway stations, railway tracks were blocked and trucks and buses stayed off roads in Bihar.

"Several express as well as passenger trains were halted and road traffic has been badly hit across the state," said a police official.

According to railway officials, hundreds of passengers were stranded at various railway stations including Nalanda, Gaya, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Hajipur, Bhagalpur and Saharsa districts.

In Patna, busy roads like Ashok Rajpath Road, Exhibition Road, Bailey Road and Fraser Road were blocked. All private schools and colleges remained closed in Patna in view of the strike.

Additional Director General (Police Headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said elaborate security arrangements had been made to maintain law and order across the state.

M I Khan In Patna