Patna: RJD President Lalu Prasad and several of his supporters were today arrested here while trying to enforce the day-long Bihar bandh called by his party as the shutdown adversely affected life across the state.
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vikas Vaibhav said, “Prasad has been arrested along with his supporters while enforcing bandh. He has been taken to the camp jail of Bihar Military Police – 5 located on the outskirts of Patna. He might be given bail if the sections imposed are bailable ones.”
An FIR has been registered against Prasad at Kotwali police station under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).
332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from discharge of duty), 431 (mischief by injury to public road), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation).
The bandh disrupted normal life as few trains were halted by lathi-wielding mobs, which also forced few shops and educational institutions to shut operations. The working of the Patna High Court was also hit.
Officials said several judges got delayed in reaching the High Court due to the bandh and wanted to know if the state government was supporting it. They also questioned the security preparedness of the state government.
Earlier, Prasad had come out from his residence riding a ‘tamtam’ or ‘tonga’ (a single-horse drawn carriage) draped with his party colours and symbol.
He and his hundreds of supporters then proceeded towards Dak Bungalow crossing, the nerve centre of city traffic, enforcing bandh all the way.
“Our motive is to demand caste census data and remove BJP from power. ‘BJP hatao, desh bachao’ (Remove BJP, save the country) because it is ‘Bharat Jalao Party’. The bandh is a huge success. I have never seen this type of bandh in my life except during the JP movement,” Prasad said.
The RJD chief denied any untoward incident by his party workers anywhere in the state and asserted that “youths have punctured BJP”. He also gave the call to remove Narendra Modi from the post of Prime Minister.
Officials said shops remained shut, colleges and educational institutions were forced to close down, roads including national highways were blocked and vehicles were attacked during the shut-down called by RJD.
Hordes of RJD supporters armed with sticks and canes were seen burning tyres and bamboos at busy thoroughfares in the state capital. They also disrupted classes and forcibly closed colleges affiliated to Patna University, officials said.