Patna: Thousands of Left parties’ leaders, workers and supporters along with opposition parties and civil society organisations in Bihar observed a total shutdown in the state on Wednesday in protest against CAA-NRC-NPR. The shutdown was also joined by different organisations including Bahuhan Kranti Morcha and Bhim Sena.
As the protesters hit the streets, red flags of the Left parties as well as blue flags of dalit organisations could be spotted flying high across the state. All the markets and shops remained closed on Patna's Ashok Rajpath, Dariyapur, Sabzi Bagh, Patna market to Machua Toli, Phulwari Sharif and Khagaul Road.
In Patna and other districts, protesters blocked roads to enforce the shutdown. In response, the police tried to disperse the protesters using lathi charges at several places in Patna, Siwan, Gaya and Bhojpur. A few of incidents of clashes between protesters and police have also been reported from some place.
In Siwan and Sitamarhi districts, two groups of people clashed over enforcing the shutdown in which half a dozen people were injured. However, the situation did not escalate.
The road services were disrupted for hours with shutdown supporters blocking roads including national highways to state highways and roads connecting the district headquarters. According to police officials, long route buses and trucks remained off the roads.
Opposition parties including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Hindusthani Awam Morcha (HAM), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) and students organisations and several civil societies’ members too participated in the bandh to mark their protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, proposed National Population Register and the imminent National Register of Citizens.
In Patna, the Dak Bungalow square, Ashok Raj Path, Anisabad-Phulwari Sharif of NH 98 were blocked for several hours by thousands of activists and workers of Left parties with banners and placards in their hands. Most auto-rickshaws also remained off the road in support of the strike in Patna.
“In Patna, Left parties along with other parties and students staged a massive protest and took out march which was joined by thousands of people," Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Manoj Kumar told NewsClick, adding that the strike was successful.
Similar reports from Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Ara, Begusarai,East Champaran,West Champaran, Samastipur, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Purnia, Kishanganj, Araria, Madhepura, Katihar, Saharsa, Gopalganj and Sitamarhi districts show that protesters took out big marches and staged dharna by blocking main thoroughfare for hours.
Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) leader Kunal said the strike was totally successful and it was supported by people who are against CAA-NRC-NPR and are affected by joblessness, privatisation, inflation and anti-workers’ and anti-people policies of the Modi-led central government.
Police officials said they are alert and additional security forces have been deployed at important public places to deal with any untoward incident.
Also read: RJD's Bihar Bandh Against CAA and NRC