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Bandh evokes mixed response in NE
Kolkata: The ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by Congress and various opposition parties on Monday against soaring fuel prices failed to evoke response in West Bengal and Tripura, but affected life in BJP-ruled Assam and Arunachal Pradesh besides Bihar and Odisha.
In Congress-ruled Mizoram, the shutdown had no impact. Reports of arson, vandalism and disruption of rail and road traffic poured in from various parts of Bihar during the shutdown.
In Patna, bandh supporters indulged in vandalism in the old city area, where they also placed burning tyres on railway tracks disrupting movement of trains. In West Bengal, normal life largely remained unaffected by the shutdown.
The ruling Trinamool Congress opposed the bandh but held a rally against spiralling prices of the petroleum products.
The Congress called a shutdown for six hours from 9 am, while the CPI(M)-led Left Front called a 12-hour bandh starting from 6 am in West Bengal.
Almost all schools and colleges were open with the scheduled examinations underway and the office-goers were seen rushing to office. Train services were also normal.
Official sources said the state secretriat recorded 98 per cent attendance. A senior Kolkata Traffic Police official said all measures had been taken to ensure that normal life was not impacted by the bandh.
Slamming the Congress, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Delhi cited the death of a three-year old girl in Bihar as she could not get medical help in time due to pro-bandh protesters allegedly stopping an ambulance and asked if Congress president Rahul Gandhi will take the responsibility for this.
Sub-divisional Officer, Jehanabad, Paritosh Kumar confirmed the death of the child but said “Pramod Manjhi, resident of a village in Gaya, was bringing his daughter to a hospital as she was suffering from symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea.”
He said had there been no delay in finding a vehicle, the child’s life could have been saved and added the bandh supporters did not prevent the three-wheeler, which carried her. At Rajendra Nagar in Patna, activists of Jan Adhikar Party floated by controversial Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav vandalized a number of private vehicles. In Bihar, private schools and a sizeable number of shopping establishments remained closed.
Government offices and banks, however, functioned normally and at some places, the bandh supporters were seen making way for ambulances and hearses.
A Bhubaneswar report said train services were hit as bandh supporters squatted on tracks at many places in Odisha during the bandh.
At least 10 trains were cancelled and several others regulated in the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway, an ECoR official said. (PTI)