|Traffic on NH 57 in Muzaffarpur on Monday. Picture by Lokesh Bihari
Thousands of people thronged the streets leading to Patyasa ground off National Highway 57 to catch a glimpse of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and brought life to a standstill.
The Patyasa village ground is located over 8km northeast of Muzafffarpur town. Hundreds of vehicles were stuck on NH-57, which connects Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga, after crowds of people headed for the Modi rally choked it for the larger part of the day. Traffic cops had a harrowing time clearing the obstructions on the roads.
Amid tight security, residents of Muzaffarpur and its adjoining areas thronged the rally, giving the town a deserted look.
“In spite of acute ankle pain, I dared to walk down NH-57 just to listen to Modiji,” said Manni Lal, a septuagenarian textile trader of Suttapatti.
Senior superintendent of police Saurav Kumar said the district police, in spite of diverting the national highway traffic from Bochahan to Bakhri, toiled a lot to regulate traffic and remove bottlenecks.
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel caught a mentally challenged youth trying to sneak into the ground during Modi’s speech. He was freed after necessary verification.
BJP activists coming from Darbhanga and Madhubani were locked in fisticuffs with the security personnel at the National Highways Authority of India toll plaza in Sharfuddinpur on NH-57.
They refused to pay toll tax in the name of attending Modi’s Hunkar Rally and shouted slogans against the whimsical amount of toll tax realised by the NHAI.
The supervisor of the toll plaza, Manoj Mishra, said some of the sensible activists paid the toll tax. Most of them did not pay and misbehaved with the security officials.
The station house officer of Bochahan police station, Dhananjai Kumar, said he got information of some altercation between BJP supporters and the toll plaza officials.