Train, road services hit during Bihar bandh

The bandh has been called by the RJD-LJP combine to protest fuel price hike.

Patna: A strike called by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) to protest against the hike fuel prices hit train and road services in Bihar on Saturday.

RJD and LJP activists stopped over a dozen long-distance trains at Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Hajipur, Bhagalpur and Darbhanga railway stations as part of their shutdown.

"Train services have been badly disrupted due to the shutdown since Saturday morning, leaving hundreds stranded at railway stations," an East Central Railway official said over telephone from Hajipur, the zonal headquarters.

Police said strike supporters blocked important roads including the national highway and state highway at various places.

Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan has urged the central government to roll back the fuel price hike.

Speaking during a statewide shutdown in Bihar, Paswan said the price hike should be withdrawn in "people`s interest".

Paswan said he and RJD chief Lalu Prasad will raise the fuel price hike issue in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 26.

The LJP chief was elected to the Rajya Sabha last month.

Paswan also said his party and RJD would not join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA. "We cannot go along with NDA on this or other issues," he said.

The RJD and LJP did not join the all-India shutdown called by the rest of the opposition parties on July 05 that virtually crippled the country.

In Patna, busy roads like Ashok Rajpath, Bailey Road, Patna-Danapur Road and Fraser Road were blocked.

"Road services were also hit. No long-route buses are plying. Highways are deserted. Trucks have halted at different places," a police officer said.

In Patna, shops and markets were also closed. So were most schools.

Former central minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, former central ministers and RJD leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav and Kanti Singh statged protests in Patna.

In Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Bettiah, Hajipur, Darbhanga, Jamui, Banka and Jehanabad, hundreds of women took to the streets.

They held placards, posters and banners and shouted slogans demanding the withdrawal of the fuel price hike.

The central government ended curbs on petroleum pricing and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas last month.

The price of diesel went up by Rs 2 a litre, kerosene by Rs 3 a litre, petrol by Rs 3.50 a litre, and cooking gas by Rs 35 per cylinder.


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