JEHANABAD: A two-year-old girl died on Monday after the auto carrying her to the hospital was stuck in traffic blockade during the ongoing Bharat Bandh in Bihar's Jehanabad.
The toddler and her family were on their way to Jehanabad civil hospital when the vehicle was stopped due to a road blockade.
The child's life could have been saved if the vehicle was allowed to move ahead, alleged the parents.
“Everyone has the right to protest. But a two-year-old died on the road. Rahul Gandhi needs to answer,” IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while addressing a conference on Monday.
Meanwhile, authorities have denied that the child died due to traffic jam,
"The death of the child is not related to bandh or traffic jam, the relatives had left late from their home," said SDO Jehanabad Paritosh Kumar.
Normal life was thrown out of gear in Bihar due to the nationwide strike called by the Congress to protest against the rising fuel prices.
Disturbing scenes were witnessed in Patna where Loktantrik Janata Dal workers carried a motorbike on their shoulders to protest against fuel price hike. Party cadres also damaged dozens of four wheelers, buses and two-wheelers.
Several protestors from various Opposition parties took to streets, some clashing with police at several places while enforcing the shutdown.
Over a dozen long route express and passenger trains were stopped at Patna, Gaya, Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Khagaria, Madhubani, Sagarsa, Darbhanga, Banka, Bhagalpur, Sheikhpura and Muzaffarpur railway stations.
The shutdown supporters blocked national and state highways, disrupted rail and road traffic for hours and stranded thousands of passengers at different railway stations and bus stands.
At several places, the activists were seen burning tyres on the roads.
Schools and colleges remained closed across the state. Markets and business centres were also closed.
Additional security personnel have been deployed all across the state to maintain law and order.
The shutdown in Bihar has been supported by the opposition Rashtryia Janata Dal (RJD), Left Parties, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party.
Several opposition parties - led by Congress - have called for a 'Bharat Bandh' on Monday to protest against catapulting petrol and diesel prices across the country to record levels. Price of both - already having set records earlier this year - rose for almost all of last week and petrol even breached the Rs 80/litre mark in the national capital.
With agency inputs