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Rail and road traffic disrupted in Bihar on account of day-long bandh

Rail and road traffic was disrupted in several districts of Bihar today on account of a day-long bandh called by the Left organisations to protest against the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal and the alleged atrocities against Dalits in the state.


PTI Last Updated at 02 Aug 2018, 17:08 IST India

Rail and road traffic was disrupted in several districts of Bihar today on account of a day-long bandh called by the Left organisations to protest against the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal and the alleged atrocities against Dalits in the state.

Protesters clashed with police in the state capital and forced shops to close in some areas, while several public schools had already declared a holiday to avoid any inconvenience to their students and teachers. However, banks and government offices appeared to have normal attendance.

Several opposition parties including the RJD, the Congress, the Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Loktantri Janta Dal (floated by former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav) also lent their support to the bandh, which was seen by political observers as coming together of non-NDA parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, made a scathing attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the Muzaffarpur episode.

He tweeted that by having shot off a couple of letters to Chief Minister, Governor Satya Pal Mallik has indirectly questioned CM's "criminal silence on the horrendous institutional rape case" but Kumar was still "deadly silent".

The tweet followed another one in Hindi wherein the RJD leader "vowed" to compel Nitish Kumar to open his mouth on Muzaffarpur rape case, awaken his "comatose conscience" and expose his "hypocritical claims of morality".

In Muzaffarpur, CPI(ML) workers staged a protest in front of the residence of Brajesh Thakur, patron of the state-funded NGO that was running the girl shelter home that has landed in a major controversy over alleged sexual assault of its inmates. Thakur has been arrested in connection with the scandal.

After the Left activists left the place, a group of RJD workers were seen moving towards Thakur's residence but they were stopped by police.

Opposition leaders have alleged that Thakur enjoyed patronage of the chief minister.

The alleged sexual exploitation of more than 30 girls at the centre first came to light in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to the state's social welfare department in April.

An FIR was lodged against 11 people, including Thakur on May 31. The probe has now been taken over by the CBI. The NGO running the shelter home has since been blacklisted and the girls have been shifted to other shelter homes in Patna and Madhubani.

Rail traffic was disrupted in several districts including West Champaran, Sheikhpura, Darbhanga and Jehanabad while movement of vehicles was affected on national highways passing through Khagaria, Kishanganj, Vaishali and Begusarai.

In Samastipur, local RJD MLA Akhtarul Islam Shahin led the protests. However, districts like Munger and Sitamarhi did not see much impact of the shutdown.

Several people are said to have been held by police for creating ruckus while trying to enforce the bandh, though no official comment was yet available from police.

In the state capital, the bandh supporters clashed with the police near Gandhi Maidan and forced bookshops and coaching institutes on Ashok Rajpath to down their shutters.

Most public schools in the city had declared a holiday anticipating inconveniences to the teachers and students while commuting during the bandh.

Banks and government offices, however, witnessed normal attendance and in many other parts of the city the bandh appeared to have little impact.

Road traffic was also as usual on busy bailey road, Boring road and near Dak Bungalow roundabout in the state capital.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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