Dakbungalow shows the way

Bandh supporters lay siege to heart of city, disrupt traffic

By Amit Bhelari in Patna
  • Published 11.09.18
Bandh supporters pick up a bike to protest the hike in fuel prices at Dakbungalow in Patna on Monday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna: Dakbungalow roundabout was paralysed for almost five hours when agitators hit the road during the Bharat Bandh on Monday protesting against the steep increase in petroleum prices.

Traffic was affected and the city almost came to a standstill because the Dakbunglow is a junction connecting four important roads. One goes towards Patna Junction, the second towards Gandhi Maidan, the third towards Kankarbagh and the fourth towards Bailey Road.

Vehicles were not allowed to pass through this junction because protesters had blocked all four points not allowing anyone to enter the area. At all the four points, agitators burnt tyres shouting slogans against the Narendra Modi government.

The protesters consisting of workers of the RJD, Congress, Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS) and Loktantrik Janata Dal gathered at Dakbungalow. Those who tried to pass through the roundabout were first given a warning with folded hands and those who did not listen had to face the wrath of the protesters. The protesters had started stopping vehicles from 8.30am though the Congress had given the bandh call from 9am to 3pm instead of a full day to ensure that people are not inconvenienced beyond a point. However demonstrations started at 7am at many places in Patna and at Dakbungalow from 8.30am.

The police personnel deployed at the junction were tensed after received a message on the wireless that Governor Lal Ji Tandon will go to hotel Maurya via Dakbungalow as the numbers of protesters was increasing with every passing minute.

The agitators were so much in number that the governor's cavalcade had to take a turn from Kotwali police station to avoid the Dakbungalow chaos. Incidentally, an hour after the cavalcade passed, Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav's supporters broke the front and rear glass of a car.

Only those who were walking were allowed to pass through the roundabout. Most of the top leaders of the opposition which includes Bihar Congress president in-charge Kaukab Quadri, Congress MLC Premchand Mishra, RJD state unit president Ram Chandra Purbey, former Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary and many more gathered at the point.

At Dakbunglow roundabout, there was also a tussle between the police and groups belonging to the India Union Muslim League over their party flag. The police had seized their flag confusing it with the flag of Pakistan as this flag too has the moon and star on it.

However, IUML national secretary-cum-president, Bihar unit, S. Naim Akhter said they are a political party based in Kerala with three MPs in Parliament. The magistrate on duty looked up the flag of Pakistan on the Internet and matched it with the IUML flag after which he found it was different.

The IUML workers alleged that people of the minority community were being harassed in the regime of Narendra Modi.