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Patna Affected by Bharat Bandh; RJD, JAP, HAM Lead the Protest

Bhim Sena activists force closure of railway ticket booking counters at Patna Junction on Monday.

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Patna: Dozens of political parties and their youth wings caused disruption across the state in support of the nationwide bandh called by a host of Dalit, Backward, and Tribal outfits who are outraged by the recent Supreme Court decision that protects public servants and private individuals from arbitrary and immediate arrest under the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

{gallery}newsimages2018/apr/040218{/gallery}In Bihar, the bandh was supported by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), the rebel faction of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), CPI-ML, All India Students Association (AISA), Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) and a number of other left-leaning parties and organizations.

Protestors in Patna created ruckus at Patna Junction where they forced the booking counters to shut down. They also blocked railway tracks causing delay to a number of passenger trains.

Reports of clash between students and bandh supporters were also received from many parts of the state capital.

In Patna, the protest was dominated by the RJD and Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) whose activists blocked roads at various places by burning tires and clashing with passers-by who did not want anything to do with today's protest. Pappu Yadav's army of supporters and Bhim Sena activists armed with batons and hockey sticks damaged several vehicles and beat up a handful of pedestrians who would not move fast enough to make room for them, or shop-keepers who showed reluctance in closing down their shutters.

Congress in Bihar refrained from joining today's bandh.

Disruption in the railway traffic was also received from other parts of Bihar including Ara, Gaya, Jehanabad, Begusarai, Purnia, Nawada, and Darbhanga.

At Bihar Assembly, opposition leaders led by Tejaswi Yadav protested outside the building accusing Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Center for influencing the Supreme Court decision against Dalits and backwards of the nation as part of a bigger conspiracy to destroy the poor and downtrodden class.

Interestingly, despite RJD's accusations, the Modi administration had earlier filed a petition with the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling which was quickly denied by the apex court.

Confirming that, Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to all to maintain peace and refrain from engaging in anti-social activities.

Central Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is a Patna native, also said that he did not agree with the Supreme Court decision in this matter.

Meanwhile, police arrested over two dozen people in Patna for disturbing peace and inciting violent behavior during the day-long bandh.

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