BJP's rail blockade hits people in Bihar
Hundreds of passengers were Friday stranded at many railway stations across Bihar as BJP workers forcibly stopped trains over the denial of special category status to the state by the union government, officials said.
More than 300 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, including state party president Mangal Pandey, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Nand Kishore Yadav and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, were detained by police for disrupting train services. All of them were later released, police said.
BJP workers also blocked the national highway 80 in Lakhisarai that led to hundreds of vehicles forced to stop for hours.
In some places, passengers particularly students going for their examinations clashed with BJP workers for blocking the roads.
Over three dozen trains, including Rajdhani Express, were forcibly halted by BJP workers. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at many railway stations, said Additional Director General of Police Ravinder Kumar.
"Protestors blocked railway tracks in Patna, Gaya, Sheikhpura, Lakhisarai, Darbhanga, Hajipur and Bhagalpur, Madhepura, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda and Jehanabad," a railway official said.
"BJP workers have been forcibly stopping trains at railway stations since morning."
Party leaders had Thursday appealed to people to avoid travelling by trains Friday, and Sushil Kumar Modi had requested passengers to cancel their train tickets.
The party had given the call for a rail blockade after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called a shutdown in the state March 2 to protest the denial of special category status.
Sushil Kumar Modi said the special status was a must for development of a backward state like Bihar, and that the Congress-led union government has discriminated against his state.
"BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has promised to grant special status to Bihar. Now our hope lies with him," he said.
(Posted on 28-02-2014)