| Nagri residents and members of various tribal organisations take out a torchlight rally in Ranchi on Tuesday. Pictures by Hardeep Singh
A majority of the 50 private schools in capital Ranchi has decided to suspend classes on Wednesday in the wake of a 12-hour statewide bandh called by the CPI(ML) in support of land protests in Nagri.
The bandh backed by the CPI, Youth Congress, Vishthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, Ranchi Mahanagar Sarna Prarthna Sabha and several other political and apolitical outfits will also paralyse public transport. Around 11,000 auto-rickshaws and 200 intrastate buses are expected to remain off roads, though interstate buses may ply on their designated routes.
The government has planned an ambitious education hub on 227 acres, which Nagri residents claim is fertile boon from their ancestors. Core committee member of Nagris Jamin Bachao Sangharsh Samiti Kishore Mahto on Tuesday said they would do everything in their power to make the bandh successful. Today, there was a joint torchlight procession. Tomorrow, we will shut down the city, he said.
DAV-Kapildev principal M.K. Sinha said they could not and would not take chances with the safety of students. All DAV schools, including ours, will remain closed tomorrow, Sinha said.
He was seconded by principals of Oxford Public School, Sarla Birla School and Bridgeford School.
Initially indecisive, Delhi Public School principal J. Mohanty said he would take the same measures that other schools would in the wake of the bandh.
President of Jharkhand Bus Owners Association Krishna Mohan Singh confirmed that around 200 buses, which go to different destinations within the state, will be grounded till 6pm. However, interstate buses, which start in the evening for destinations outside the state, will render normal service, he added.
President of Jharkhand Pradesh Diesel Autochalak Mahasangh Dinesh Soni echoed Singh. Around 11,000 diesel and petrol fuelled auto-rickshaws in Ranchi will remain off road in support of Nagri residents. The bandh will be successful.
Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries secretary R.D. Singh said the business community would take a decision after seeing the situation.