September 25, 2020

Parts of nation come to standstill

Transport and internet services were affected in some parts of the country even as violence was reported from Bihar during the nationwide anti-reservation bandh call on Tuesday. However, life went on as normal in most parts of the country. This was the second countrywide bandh in the last fortnight. Bandh on April 2 had seen large scale voilence across several States.

The call for bandh that had started over social media had no group coming in the fore front to claim it. Yet, railway connectivity was disrupted in Bihar followed by violence in some parts of the State while Madhya Pradesh remained tense and Uttar Pradesh and Punjab had life as normal. However, schools in some parts of Uttar Pradesh were shut as precautionary step and internet services were suspended in Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Hapur.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs in an advisory issued on Monday had asked the State administrations to take precautionary measures in view of the bandh and said that the district magistrates and superintendents of police would be held personally responsible for any violence in their area.

In Bihar’s Ara more than a dozen people were injured in clashes between the anti-reservation and pro-reservation groups. In Patna, Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Muzafffarpur, Bhojpur, Sheikhpura, Nawada and Darbhanga, hundreds of people blocked roads, halted trains and forcibly closed markets.

The bandh failed to evoke much response in Haryana. Shops, educational institutions functioned as per normal routine across the state while rail and road transport too plied normally. However, there was mixed response in Punjab with commercial establishments remaining shut in some parts including Hoshiarpur, Phagwara, Sangrur, Bathinda, and protesters taking out marches at several places in the state.

Tight security arrangements were made by Punjab police to avert any untoward incident in the State. “Situation remained peaceful in the state,” a senior police official of Punjab said adding that timely intervention of cops at few places also averted tension among warring groups. There was no impact on public transport and rail movement because of the Bandh call. However, Ferozepur district witnessed clash between two groups leaving several persons injured over forcible closure of shops.

Though the Bandh was peaceful in Punjab, tension erupted when ‘Dalit’ activists gathered on cinema road and opposed what they called forcible closure of shops. However, police succeeded in pacifying both the groups and brought the situation under control.

In Madhya Pradesh, the bandh saw partial response with some shops remaining closed in Bhopal during the morning hours. The schools in the state capital remained open. The authorities had on Monday announced daytime curfew in Morena and Bhind, besides enforcing prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Gwalior, Bhopal, Sagar and some other sensitive towns of the state to avoid any untoward incidents. The internet services too were blocked in the Gwalior-Chambal region to prevent rumour-mongering.

In Uttar Pradesh, not much of impact was seen on the daily life. Official sources said there was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the State and life in Lucknow remained normal with traders opening their shops and vehicles plying on the roads. The government and private offices and schools too functioned without any hinderance.

Several shops, business establishments, offices, banks and educational institutions remained shut in Orissa . Vehicular movement also came to a halt in parts of Sambalpur, Balangir, Keonjhar and Koraput districts as bandh supporters resorted to picketing and road blockade. The strike, however, remained peaceful with no report of any violence from any part of the State, a police officer said.

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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