Bihar bandh disrupts life, Rabri Devi among 1000 arrested

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Patna, Nov 2 (UNI) Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Rabri Devi was arrested along with over 1000 agitators during today's Bihar bandh which disrupted life across the state.

In a show of unanimity, all the opposition parties called the bandh to protest yesterday's assault on scribes by ruling JD(U) MLA Annant Singh.

Official sources here said the former chief minister, leading a procession of RJD men, arrived at the main Dakbungalow where activists of other political parties were demonstrating. Ms Rabri Devi was arrested 15 minutes after her arrival and taken to the Mithilesh Stadium.

RJD MP Vijay Yadav, Lalit Yadav, party MLA Rajesh Yadav, MLC Bhola Rai and several other party leaders were arrested while enforcing the bandh in the state capital.

Among other prominent leaders arrested were LJP MP Surajbhan, senior CPI(M) leader Subodh Rai, Congress Legislature Party Leader Ashok Kumar, Congress state spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra, party's youth wing president Tarun Kumar and NSUI state president Rashid Pasri.

Meanwhile, business establishments situated on the main roads kept their shutters down while shops in the lanes and by lanes remained open in Patna.

Vehicular traffic was thin here and majority of the people preferred to remain indoors. Public transport also remained off the roads causing inconvenience to office-goers. However, attendance in government offices was near normal.

Private school administration had already announced closure as a preventive measure.

All emergency services had also been excluded from the bandh.

Sources said the bandh had its impact felt in remote areas as private transport was off the roads.

The state government had made elaborate security arrangements for the bandh. Additional deployment was made at sensitive and public places. The administration had accorded special attention to the state capital where agitators gathered in large numbers.

Earlier, Mr Anant Singh, JD(U) MLA from Mokameh along with his henchmen, had allegedly attacked journalists who had sought his comments regarding the murder of a woman named Reshma who had levelled allegations of rape against him. Mr Singh also kept hostage some of the scribes who were rescued only after the intervention of senior police authorities.

The MLA and his four supporters were subsequently arrested and later sent to jail.

The assault on the scribes ignited the political atmosphere as, finding it a suitable opportunity, the entire opposition blamed the Nitish Kumar government for the incident and called the Bihar bandh.

Meanwhile, the state government recommended a CBI probe into the killing of Reshma.

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