Patna: The Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress sponsored Bihar bandh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) threw the normal life out of gear in the state on Saturday.
During the protest, the state reported numerous cases of vandalism and arson. Several private and public utility vehicles were set ablaze, allegedly by the workers of the two parties. It was the second Bihar bandh against CAA in less than 48 hours.
On Thursday, regional parties like controversial former MP Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) and former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni's Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) had called for Bihar bandh.
In Patna, hundreds of Muslims took out a demonstration in the old city, Patna City, protesting against the implementation of CAA and NRC.The protesters carried 'No CAA, No NRC' banners, and shouting slogans against the government.
The RJD-Congress workers on Saturday blocked highways and major roads in towns and disrupted vehicular as well as railway traffic at different places, including Rajendra Nagar, Ara, Sasaram, Jahanabad and Darbhanga stations.
They blocked the movement of vehicles on NH 57, NH 30 and NH 33 and burnt tyres, parked buses and trucks in the middle of the highways. At Vaishali, they blocked the national highway using buffaloes with 'No CAA' banners.
In Patna, the agitators dared to stop a judge of the Patna HC from going to the court. The judge had to introduce himself and request the protesters to allow him to proceed.
Dak Bungalow road again proved the epicentre of the Bihar bandh as all top leaders of RJD and Congress assembled there and blocked the movement of vehicles and even pedestrians through Frazer Road, SP Verma Road leading to Patna Junction.
The workers manhandled journalists covering the protest and accused a section of the media of "working for Modi". A reporter of an English news channel was manhandled and a cameraman of a leading Hindi daily was physically assaulted, who sustained grievous head injuries and has been undergoing treatment in a hospital. They shouted slogans in front of the Patna SSP, Garima Malik, who was passing through Dak Bungalow square.
Leader of Opposition in the Bihar assembly Tejashwi Yadav, RJD state president Jagdanand Singh, former finance minister Abdul Bari Sidiqqui and BIhar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Madan Mohan Jha marched through the streets of Patna with their supporters.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took cognizance of the attack on the media persons and directed the Additional DG of Police (Hq), Jitendra Kumar, to ensure FIRs are lodged against the culprits after identifying the culprits through video recordings.