Trains were forcibly halted, railway tracks, national and state highways blocked in Bihar and several other states as upper caste communities on Thursday tried to impose Bharat Bandh called to protest against the SC/ST Act. Road blockades by protesters in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan also affected the normal life.
Hundreds of people from the upper caste communities took to streets across the country, particularly in north India, to protest against the The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The protesters burned tyres, blocked roads and rail traffic in Patna, Gaya, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Madhubni, Bhojpur, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura ,Nawada and Bhagalpur districts of Bihar. Traffic remained disrupted for hours. Section 144 was imposed in several districts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to prevent protests from spiralling out of control.
Shopkeepers kept their shutters down in Noida, Ghaziabadm Dankaur, Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. The effect of Bharat Bandh was also witnessed in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
Normal life was partially affected in several parts of Madhya Pradesh as several organisations staged protests as part Bharat Bandh. Shops and business establishments remained shut in several areas. Vechicular movement was also affected.
The administration imposed prohibitive orders under section 144 of Crpc in Chhatarpur, Shivpuri, Bhind, Ashoknagar, Guna, Gwalior and Katni in the state.
As It Happened:
04:07 pm: Normal life hit in various parts of Bihar and train services briefly affected in the state capital and Rajgir town on account of the 'Bharat Bandh' call
03:47 pm: People have their feelings. In a democracy everyone has the right to express themselves, says Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
03:44 pm: Life remains normal across Uttar Pradesh despite 'Bharat Bandh' call. Yogi says the call has no meaning.
03:05 pm: "We have deployed additional forces in the state and the local police is already on the roads in view of the bandh call. So far, no violence or any untoward incident has taken place and everything is under control and peaceful," says Special DG (law and order) NRK Reddy.
2:05 pm: Protesters stop MP Pappu Yadav's convoy in Muzaffarpur, Bihar
1:45 pm: Bihar: Jehanabad ASP Sanjeev Kumar sustains injuries after protesters hurl stones on his vehicles when he tried to persuade them to remove a road blockade.
12:55 pm: Normal life hit in Madhya Pradesh due to Bharat Bandh. Schools, shops shut. Section 144 imposed Guna, Gwalior, Katni and several other districts of the state.
10:18 am: Protesters block NH 28 in Bihar's Muzaffarpur during Bharat Bandh.
9:35 am: Protesters stop train in Bihar's Darbhanga and Munger's Masudan stations during Bharat Bandh.
9:21 am: People hold protest in Varanasi during Bharat Bandh. Protesters burn effigy.
9:10 am: Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh also facing Bharat Bandh impact. Schools, colleges are closed as a precautionary measure.
9:00 am: Schools have been asked to remain closed in view of Bharat Bandh in Rajasthan. Section 144 imposed in Sawai Madhopur.
8:45 am: Protesters stop Lokmanya Tilak Express at Arrah station in Bihar. They are shouting slogans against the Centre.
8:30 am: Several districts in Bihar, Jharkhand effected by Bharat Bandh. Commuters facing trouble as buses are not plying due to the shutdown.
"Through the social media and pamphlets, we came to know that some organisations are planning a Bharat Bandh against the amendments in the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, following which the security has been beefed up in the state," Makrand Deuskar, Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) said.
As per reports, in Gwalior, Chhatarpur, Shivpuri, Bhind, Ashoknagar and Guna the administration has imposed prohibitory orders.
It may be recalled that on April 2 during the 'Bharat bandh' called by scheduled caste groups, the Gwalior-Chambal region had witnessed large-scale violence.
[WATCH VIDEO] SC/ST Act amendments: Section 144 imposed in parts of MP, Police gears up for protests