Ranchi/Jamshedpur, July 2: Thousands of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) supporters, mostly students, today took to the streets to enforce their 12-hour bandh in protest against police lathicharge on students near Raj Bhavan on June 29.
The bandh succeeded in paralysing life in the state capital while it evoked a partial response in Jamshedpur. Over 2,000 protesters were arrested and released across the state for creating law and order problems.
In Ranchi, the impact of bandh was felt since early in the morning. School buses stayed off roads. Business establishments also downed shutters.
Those who dared to venture out were inconvenienced as the bandh enforcers stopped vehicles and burnt their tyres. A queue of trucks was spotted at the entrance of the city near Kanta Toli chowk while the ABVP workers went on the rampage.
At Purulia Road and Main Road Over Bridge, the students resorted to throwing brickbats to stall movement of auto-rickshaws and Ranchi Municipal Corporation vehicles. Some also damaged hotels and restaurants that defied the bandh.
Ranchi SSP Praveen Kumar said there was “minor” law and order problem in the city. “Twenty-seven students were arrested in the state capital. They were kept at Kotwali and Lalpur police stations and were later released after they signed personal bonds,” he added.
In the steel city, ABVP supporters went around market places in Sakchi and Bistupur, asking shopkeepers to down shutters. They also tried to stop auto-rickshaws and trucks. Near Shaheed Chowk in Sakchi, some students broke windowpanes of auto-rickshaws and burnt tyres at a few areas in Sakchi. Educational institutions, banks and other business establishments remained opened though. Petroleum outlets in Sakchi, Bistupur and Golmuri were shut till 11am.
A group of about 20 supporters, who were protesting at Sakchi, were detained under Section 151 of the CrPC (preventive arrest). They were taken to Sakchi police station and released later. Similar arrests were made from other spots in Sakchi and Bistupur. Assistant sub-inspector of Sakchi police station N.K. Mishra said they made about 50 preventive arrests.
A section of students visited Jamshedpur Women’s College and other colleges under Kolhan University, but they were driven away by policemen on duty.
Organising secretary of ABVP Suman Kumar claimed the bandh was successful. “Today’s support from all sections of society suggests that people are with us to fight for restoration of proper academic atmosphere in Ranchi University,” he said.
He added that the agitation would be intensified if their five-point charter of demands was not met.