PANTA; Arson, vandalism and disruption of rail and road traffic were reported from various parts of Bihar on Monday during the ‘‘ called by Congress-led opposition in protest against the soaring prices of petroleum products.
In the state capital, bandh supporters indulged in vandalism in the old Patna city area where they also placed burning tyres on railway tracks, disrupting movement of trains.
Private schools and a sizeable number of shopping establishments remained closed, fearing nuisance during the six-hour-long bandh which is also supported by the RJD, CPI and CPI(M).
Government offices and banks were, however, functioning normally and at some places, the bandh supporters were seen making way for ambulances and hearses.
In Rajendra Nagar locality of the state capital, activists of the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) floated by controversial Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav vandalized a number of private vehicles.
Reacting to the episode, Congress MLC Prem Chandra Mishra, who was leading a demonstration elsewhere, said, “Such unruly behavior must not take place. Our party leadership has made it clear that the bandh ought to be totally peaceful.”
BPCC working president Kaukab Qadri told a TV channel at the Dak Bungalow crossing “BJP-RSS workers, in the guise of bandh supporters, are in action at many places to give us a bad name.”
In Jehanabad district, a two-year-old girl died while being taken to a hospital for treatment.
According to unconfirmed reports, the girl was being taken to the Sadar hospital from a far-away village and her family members blamed the death on the delay in finding a three-wheeler for commutation.
There was no official confirmation of the incident so far.
In rural Patna, bandh supporters squatted on railway tracks at Mokamah, Fatuha and Barh besides blocking railway traffic on a number of national highways.
Disruption of rail and road traffic was also reported from Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur and Munger districts.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh termed the bandh as an “electoral stunt” while claimed the shutdown has been a “flop”.
JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said the vandalism was “a trailer of the jungle raj that people may have to witness if the alliance, comprising the RJD, comes to power. Even our party is opposed to rising prices but we can never think of indulging in such acts.” Download The Times of India for Latest .