Violence marks Bihar bandh,train services disrupted

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Patna, Oct 25 (UNI) Rampaging students damaged railways' property and resorted to violence as the 24-hour 'Bihar bandh' evoked a partial response today.

Official reports reaching here said about 1000 angry students, shouting anti-MNS slogans, ransacked the Darbhanga railway station at around 1100 hrs and damaged the station master's office, ticket counters and platform sheds.

They also tried to set afire railways' property but timely intervention by police prevented them from doing so.

The bandh, which began at 0600 hrs was called by the All India Students' Association(AISA), the students' wing of the CPI-ML, to protest the unprovoked attacks on north Indians, particularly Biharis, in Maharashtra and the Centre's alleged failure to take action against MNS chief Raj Thackeray.

Though the situation in Patna was normal in the morning, as the day progressed, agitated students set up road blocks at Chiriya Tar bridge for sometime disrupting traffic.

But the blockade was lifted and bandh supporters were dispersed by lathi weilding policemen. About 20 people were arrested.

Another group of students also tried to vandalise the Patna University campus here but immediate intervention by security forces prevented the situation from going out of control.

Reports of protests also came from Samastipur where students and bandh supporters set up road blocks on the national highway and sat on railway tracks for several hours. As a result a number of trains, including long distance ones, got stranded.

The situation was, however, brought under control following the arrival of a strong police contingent,the sources said.

AISA supporters brought out processions in several areas, including Patna and Munger, demanding stern action against Raj Thackeray and burnt his effigies. The processionists also forced shopkeepers to down shutters in many localities.

Meanwhile, the AISA claimed in a release here that its 'Bihar bandh' call evoked encouraging response as life remained paralysed in the state.

EDS: Here pick up suitably from earlier series.

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