BIHARSHARIF/NAWADA: Anti-reservation protesters on Tuesday damaged and tried to uproot a lifesize statue of Dr B R Ambedkar in Sheikhpura district. In Nawada too, a statue of Ambedkar was found partially damaged hours before the nationwide anti-reservation bandh began.
Witnesses said the head of Ambedkar’s statue was damaged when a mob tried to uproot it in front of Ambedkar Bhavan at Bhedia Pul in Sarai block of Sheikhpura. Later, members of a peace committee formed by locals visited the spot and began repair of the statue. Till evening, no FIR was lodged in connection with the incident.
At Hasanpur in Nawada district, villagers found the left hand of Ambedkar’s statue broken.
In Nawada, on the other hand, the left hand of a statue of Ambedkar was taken out at Hasanpura village in Narhat block. Police described the incident an attempt to “disturb social harmony”. They later lodged an FIR with Narhat police station. Police personnel were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
Elsewhere in Nawada and Sheikhpura districts, pro and anti-reservationists clashed with each other during the course of the bandh. Some troublemakers, who were yet to be identified, reportedly fired in the air when police tried to control them.
Bandh supporters moved from place to place blocking state and national highways by burning tyres and putting boulders in the two districts. They sat on railway tracks at Sheikhpura and Sisari stations to stop many trains on Kiul-Gaya route. Rajgir-New Delhi Shramjeevi Express was detained at Nalanda station for a long time.
The bandh supporters ransacked dozens of shops and stopped movement of vehicles at Sri Krishna and Thana intersections at Barbigha Bazar in Sheikhpura district.
The bandh supporters led by Suhhanshu Kumar, president of BJP’s Chandi block unit, forced traders to shut down their shops and stopped vehicles on NH-31 in Chandi block. The anti-reservation bandh was effective in Rajgir, Hilsa, Islampur and Harnaut in Nalanda district. Many vegetable sellers were beaten up in Biharsharif.
In Nawada, trains were stopped at Warisaliganj, Kashichak and Tilaiya stations by felling trees on the tracks. Trucks were parked in the middle of roads to stop movement of vehicles.