CAA: Protestors stage dharnas in Bihar, back Bhim Army's shutdown call

Bhim Sena Chief Chander Shekhar Azad and Muslims Protesting against CAA and NRC at Jama Masjid in Delhi on Friday/PHOTO-DALIP KUMAR

Bandh supporters on Sunday staged dharnas and put up road blockades in many districts of Bihar during the shutdown called by the Bhim Army.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had given a call for a nationwide shutdown to protest against a Supreme Court ruling that states were not bound to provide reservation in government jobs and quota in promotion.

Opposition parties such as the RJD, Upendra Kushwaha led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) and CPI had extended their support to the Bhim Army's bandh call in Bihar.

The bandh supporters belonging to the Bhim Army staged the dharnas and blocked national highways and roads at some places in Muzaffarpur, Begusarai, Nawada and Bhagalpur districts for some time during the day-long shutdown.

They also blocked NH 28 near Gobarsahi in Muzaffarpur town, while the movement of Begusarai-Patna Rajya Rani train was hampered for some time in Begusarai.

The state capital remained, by and large, unaffected by the bandh with shops remaining open, traffic remaining unaffected except the Dak Bungalow roundabout, which is in the heart of city, where bandh supporters belonging to the Bhim Army, RLSP, HAM(S) and the JAP staged dharna and demonstrations in support of the bandh.

Some of protesters belonging to Pappu Yadav's JAP (Loktantrik) targeted a city bus at the Dak Bungalow roundabout and raised anti government slogans.

Leading a protest at the same spot, former chief minister and HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram said, "I have extended support to the Bhim Army and that is why I am here staging a sit-in to protest against the Centre's sinister design to end the reservation for SC, ST and OBC."

Leaders or workers of the RJD, the principal opposition party in Bihar, did not actively participate in the bandh.

RJD Bihar unit spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwary said, "The party has supported the issues raised by the Bhim Army but could not actively participate in the bandh due to a major programme in the state capital for the launch of Tejashwi Prasad Yadav jee's 'Berojgari Hatao Yatra'."

The Bhim Army is also protesting against alleged atrocities on dalits, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register for Citizens (NRC) during the bandh.

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