Zee Media Bureau
Patna: Train services were disrupted in Bihar early Friday as the opposition BJP resorted to a rail blockade to demand special status for the state.
Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav and state party president Mangal Pandey and several party workers were detained when they tried to stop trains at Sachivalya halt in Patna town, police said.
Protesting the denial of special category status to the state by the Congress-led UPA government at the centre, the BJP leaders had on Thursday appealed to avoid travelling by trains on Friday.
Over two dozen trains, including Rajdhani Express, were forcibly halted by Bharatiya Janata Party workers. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at different railway stations in the state, said Ravinder Kumar, additional director general of police.
"Protesters blocked railway tracks in Patna, Gaya, Darbhanga, Hajipur and Bhagalpur, Madhepura, Nalanda, Jehanabad, disrupting train services. The BJP workers have been forcibly stopping trains at various railway stations since morning," a railway official said.
Before being taken away by police, Sushil Modi told reporters that the Centre was "discriminating" with a poor and backward state like Bihar in the grant of special category status and package to spur its development.
Party`s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has already promised to provide special package as well special category status to Bihar if he came to power, he said.
Railway sources at Danapur said that there were reports of skirmishes between bandh supporters and students appearing for exams at Rajendra Nagar terminal this morning.
A report from Darbhanga said several trains, including
many long distance once like Sampark Kranti, Darbhanga-Sikandrabad Express, Darbhanga-Samastipur intercity, were stopped by BJP workers at Darbhanga station.
A Samastipur report quoting DRM Arun Mallik said that several trains Samastipur-Muzaffarpur passenger train, Samastipur-Saharsa passenger and Samastipur-Barauni passenger were not allowed on their forward journey at Samastipur station.
In Nawada, the agitators stopped Gaya-Rampur passenger train.
Hundreds of protesters were taken into custody when they were trying to block trains, police said.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi had yesterday requested passengers to cancel their train tickets.
The party had given call for rail blockade last week after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had called a shutdown in Bihar on March 02 to protest the denial of special category status.
(With Agency inputs)