Bandh supporters take out a procession in Ranchi on Tuesday. (Hardeep Singh)
Most schools in Ranchi will remain closed on Wednesday in view of a dawn-dusk bandh called by an organisation of elected panchayat representatives, but the strike is unlikely to impact Jamshedpur.
The bandh, called by Jharkhand Rajya Panchayat Parishad to demand devolution of powers, exempts essential services, including hospitals and medicine shops, from its purview.
However, autos and buses would also stay off the roads.
Principal of Ranchi’s Delhi Public School J. Mohanty said they did not wish to take any risk as far as students’ safety was concerned. “We have decided to keep our school shut,” he said.
Echoing Mohanty’s view, DAV Kapil Dev principal M. K. Sinha also pointed out that they had decided to close all DAV Group schools. “We will take extra classes on Saturday to make up,” he said.
Other schools that are likely to remain closed include Oxford Public School, Gurunanak Higher Secondary School, Surendranath Centenary School and St Xavier's.
The bandh, which has the support of RJD, Left and Adivasi-Moolwasi Chatra Morcha, is to demand that the state accord due respect to the local bodies and bestow constitutional rights for elected representatives.
Supporters of the bandh, including organisations like Adivasi Moolvasi Chatra Morha, CPI and CPI(M), took out a torchlight procession from Sainik Bazar to Albert Ekka Chowk.
At the Chowk, parishad chief Sundari Tirkey appealed to people of Ranchi to support the bandh and help make panchayats more powerful.
President of Jharkhand Bus Owners’ Association K.M. Singh, who is also a RMC councillor, said the parishad’s demands were justified. “Therefore, bus owners have decided to extend support to the bandh.”
President of Jharkhand Pradesh Diesel Autochalak Mahasangh Dinesh Soni said around 8,000 auto rickshaws would not ply the streets.