A civil court lawyer regularly contends with a litany of woes from clients, but an unusual plea summed up the crippling Bharat Bandh endured by Ranchiites on Thursday.
“My witness stays at Bundu, which is about 40km from the city. He could not turn up today as buses were not running due to the bandh. Please seek another date of hearing from the court,” urged a client from Doranda to his lawyer inside the civil court premises.
The lawyer insisted that the hapless client make some alternative arrangement to fetch the witness. The two failed to break the deadlock.
As anticipated, normal life came to a standstill in the state capital with BJP, along with allies JMM and JD(U), besides JVM and Left parties, coming out in support of the NDA strike to protest against the Centre’s decision on FDI, diesel price hike and cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders.
Trains & flights
Train and flight services were normal. A railway spokesperson said, “Some BJP supporters squatted on the tracks at Ranchi station for five minutes. So, the trains arriving at and leaving the station were not affected.”
Ranchi divisional security commissioner of Railway Protection Force A.K. Das said there was no disturbance in the movement of trains.
Buses, goods carriers and auto rickshaws kept off the roads. President of Jharkhand Truck Owners’ Association Uday Shankar Ojha said, “The bandh will give a strong message to the Centre, which is taking anti-people decisions.”
A majority of educational institutes and business establishments remained closed. Banks, government offices and courts were open but attendance was thin, thanks to lack of transport. A senior SBI official said 12 of the bank’s 29 branches in the city were closed.
SSP Saket Kumar Singh said around 500 protesters were arrested from across the city and later released. No instance of vandalism was reported.
BJP, JVM and CPI workers staged protests and rallies. Supporters of the bandh hit the road since morning and burnt tyres at roundabouts and intersections to set the tone. JVM chief Babulal Marandi along with party leaders Pradeep Yadav and Ajaynath Shahdeo marched from Birsa Chowk to Ambedkar Chowk and courted arrest.
Most schools, colleges and businesses were closed, with Left parties, BJP and JD(U) leading the protests. Strangely, supporters of all parties got together and blocked District More on Ranchi-Patna highway, paralysing traffic movement.
Sub-capital Dumka paralleled Ranchi, as traders and transporters supported the bandh. The situation was much the same across Santhal Pargana.