#CAAProtests: Bandh called by RJD brings Bihar to halt
As protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are raging across India, Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD called for a bandh in Bihar on Saturday. This shutdown adversely affected rail and road traffic. As per reports, party supporters resorted to vandalism in some areas, forcing police personnel to retaliate. Meanwhile, a top cop said adequate forces have been deployed. Here's more.
Backstory: Across India, protests are being held against CAA
CAA, which will make it easier for persecuted non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to get Indian citizenship, has sparked protests across the country. The law's critics argue that by excluding Muslims, BJP-led Centre has exposed its bigotry. This week, protests were held across major cities like Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. Meanwhile, BJP blamed "vested interests" for the violence.
Protesters barged into railway stations, burnt tires, blocked highways
Naturally, the bandh affected normal life in Bihar. In Patna, hundreds of supporters, many of whom were children, barged into railway stations and bus stands. They carried sticks and were eventually chased away by cops. Separately, in Nawada, RJD supporters burnt tires on NH-31 and blocked traffic using buffaloes in Vaishali. Meanwhile, in Darbhanga, bare-chested RJD supporters raised slogans against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
In Bhagalpur, RJD workers were seen vandalizing rickshaws
Amid shutdown, senior cop promised action against miscreants
"Adequate forces have been deployed in all districts of the state and officials concerned were asked to deal sternly with anyone trying to foment trouble," said Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Jitendra Kumar.
Tejashwi called for peaceful protest. Naturally, RJD supporters didn't listen
Yesterday, while asking Bihar residents to participate in the shutdown, former deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav revealed the party carried a torch rally to "give a call for a peaceful protest". But obviously, his party workers didn't pay heed. Earlier, Tejashwi had slammed NRC by saying people of Bihar might not be able to prove their citizenship as their documents are washed away in floods.
Meanwhile, JD(U) said RJD's bandh was pointless
While the shutdown called by the main opposition party in Bihar took over headlines, JD(U), which governs the state, had a question. "Why should there be a bandh called by RJD when the honorable chief minister has said the NRC would not be implemented in Bihar," Sanjay Singh of the JD(U) asked. To recall, Kumar had clarified his stand on NRC yesterday.
Further, Singh said disrupting public order is RJD's habit
"People of Bihar have not forgotten the anarchy during the regime of RJD between 1990-2005. The right of peaceful protest is prevalent in democracy but during the bandh, the RJD will try to disrupt public order as that is their habit," Singh added.