|RJD workers offer roses
to policemen at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk in Patna City on Monday.
Picture by Sachin
Fliers and railway passengers had a harrowing time on Monday even as more than 7,000 bandh enforcers, including RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP boss Ram Vilas Paswan, were arrested across the state.
At Patna Junction, passengers were seen waiting for hours. Station manager N.K. Paswan said: “Though no train has been cancelled, many are running late. Protesters have stopped Mokama-Danapur Passenger (63217) at Buddhu Chak (Fatuha), halting all Delhi-bound trains. The Udyan Abha Toofan Express (13008) was stopped at Ara, paralysing the route to Calcutta, too.” Amit Sinha, a student waiting for a train at Patna Junction, said: “It’s been more than an hour that I am waiting for a train to Bhagalpur.”
According to an East Central Railway (ECR) official, altogether 45 trains, including Lichhavi Express (14005), Sampark Kranti Express (12566), Ranchi Janshatabdi Express (12365), Lokmanya Tilak Express (13202), Sanghamitra Express (12295), Bagmati Express (12578), Patna-New Delhi Puja Special (02393), Shramjeevi Express (12392) and Vikramshila Express (12368), were affected mostly in Samastipur and Danapur divisions.
At the airport, people were seen looking for taxis outside the arrival lounge. A few available cabbies jacked up fare according to their whims. Sajid Hussain, a resident of Siwan who reached Patna from Muscat, said: “I reached here around three hours ago and I’m still waiting for a car to drop me at Siwan, about 160km from Patna, but the drivers are asking for Rs 4,500, which is double the normal rate.”
Additional director-general of police (headquarters) Ravindra Kumar said: “Around 7,020 people were detained across the state. But no serious incident of violence was reported in the state during the bandh.”
Lalu reached Dakbungalow Chowk from his 10 Circular Road residence on foot with more than 500 supporters. Lalu said: “Chief minister Nitish Kumar has become a haatyara (killer).” Seeking Nitish’s resignation for “deteriorating law and order”, Paswan, who arrived from London in the morning, said he would visit Madhubani on Tuesday. Both the leaders were arrested and released later.
Youth Congress president Lalan Kumar said party workers made people aware of the “misgovernance” by the NDA coalition government.