PATNA: Large-scale disruption of road and rail traffic, acts of vandalism and arson and attacks on the police and public transport were reported from several parts of Bihar on Saturday during the dawn to dusk bandh in the state.
A day after the Bihar bandh call given by the Left parties and the JAP on December 19, the RJD and its allies called for a bandh on Saturday against the amended Citizenship Act and countrywide implementation of the NRC.
The Additional Director General, Bihar police, Jitendra Kumar told media on Saturday that around 1,550 preventive arrests were made in connection with the Bihar bandh.
He added, "14 cases have been registered in connection with vandalism and disruption caused during the Bihar bandh in which 13 persons have been arrested by police so far".
This was the 11th time this year that a call for a Bihar bandh was given by political parties, besides 29 rail roko agitations the state witnessed in the same period.
Former deputy chief minister and RJD's chief ministerial candidate for the 2020 assembly elections Tejashwi Yadav called upon people from all sections of society to oppose the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC with all their might.
Elated at the massive turnout of party supporters, he told them, "It is spontaneous and the people have shown trust in us. We will not let a black act like CAA and the NRC be implemented in the country."
Leading a long procession of supporters, along with senior leaders including Shivanand Tiwari, Jagadanand Singh, Abdul Bari Siddique and political advisor Dr Sanjay Yadav, he took a march through the streets and reached the Dak Bungalow Chowk.
Before embarking on the march in support of the Bihar bandh, Tejashwi shared a picture in which he is seen standing with a placard in front of the life-size photo of his father Lalu Prasad.
He participated in the march holding a placard reading, "I am Tejashwi. I am Hindu. I am Indian. I stand with the Constitution. I stand with the people of India. I stand with poor & farmers. #NoTo NRC, #NoTo CAA".
To begin with, a group of 20 bandh supporters disrupted rail services at Ismailpur at 6.20 am by squatting on the railway tracks for 40 minutes.
Thereafter, hundreds of bandh supporters disrupted rail services at Biharsharif, Pawapuri, Rajendranagar, Bhabhua, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Bakhatiyarpur, Muzaffarpur, Jehanabad and other places.
Around 12 trains were badly affected by the bandh.
The IG RPF of East Central Railway Ravindra Verma said that the rail services resumed after a few hours when the protesters staging a dharna and squatting on the rail tracks were chased away by the RPF and the GRP.
Bandh supporters also paralyzed road communications across the state and blocked almost all the national highways including NH 28, 22 and 31 besides other main roads.
The Mahatma Gandhi Setu built across the river Ganga was completely blocked from early in the morning by supporters of the RJD and its allies, leaving a long queue of vehicles stranded till 3 pm.
A bus carrying 80 Chinese tourists to Vaishali from Patna was also stranded at Gayeghat on the Setu for hours when it was blocked from the Hajipur side.
Rowdy elements mingled with protesters and attacked police forces in Aurangabad, Biharsharif, Nawada, Jamui and Bhagalpur and indulged in violence. An ASI in Aurangabad, Sanjay Kumar, was injured when a stone landed on his head.
At Patna, bandh supporters allegedly created a ruckus and attacked media persons including the crew of a TV channel. They also attempted to damage the cameras.
At Patna bus stand, hundreds of bandh supporters damaged public property and created a ruckus. In Darbhanga, bandh supporters damaged the memorial of Subhash Chandra Bose.
Reacting against the RJD-called Bihar bandh, BJP spokesperson DR Nikhil Anand said it was a major flop as many parts of Patna and the state were normal.
He condemned the attack on journalists by lumpen elements in Patna.
Dr Anand tweeted: "RJD-Congress is provoking public sentiment... No opposition leaders has two arguments against CAA. There is no question of ending one's citizenship in this. Congress-RJD is in competition to incite Muslims.#CAA".