Lalu Prasad Yadav arrested as RJD bandh cripples life in Bihar
Patna: RJD president
Lalu Prasad Yadav and several of his supporters were arrested on Monday in
Patna while trying to enforce the day-long Bihar bandh called by his party.
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 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. (With
inputs from agencies)