Train services paralysed in Bihar, BJP claims stir successful
Patna: Rail services were paralysed in Bihar on Friday with BJP workers storming stations and blocking movement of over 100 trains during a `rail roko` protest against denial of special category status to the state on the lines of Seemandhra.
Over 1000 BJP workers were detained across the state for disrupting train services including senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, Leader of the Opposition Nand Kishore Yadav and state party President Mangal Pandey when they tried to stop trains at Sachivalya halt in Patna town, police and railway sources said.
Before being taken away by police, Sushil Modi told reporters that the Centre was "discriminating against a poor and backward state" in the grant of special category status and package.
Modi and other BJP leaders were later released.
BJP workers also stopped trains at Patna, Darbhanga, Bettiah, Kaimur, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and other parts of in the state.
There was an altercation between intermediate students and protesters at the Rajendra Nagar terminal in the state capital. The students who wanted to travel by train to appear in examinations, were chased away by BJP workers, railway sources said.
The protesters holding banners and placards, stormed railway stations and halts under Danapur, Sonepur, Samastipur and Mughalsarai divisions of the East Central Railway encompassing most of 38 districts in the state, ECR Chief Public Relation Officer Amitabh Prabhakar said.
BJP leader Nand KishoreYadav claimed that the rail roko was peaceful and totally successful.
However, Congress and RJD described BJP`s agitation as a flop.
Sushil Modi said that the party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had promised to provide special package as well special category status to Bihar if he came to power after the general elections.
He accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of hijacking the special status issue for electoral gain though all parties had collectively passed a resolution in this regard a few years ago.
Nandkishore Yadav accused Kumar for using the special status demand as a bargaining chip with the Congress which not only proved to be a failure, but also weakened the issue.
The BJP`s rail roko took place two days before a `Bihar bandh` call given by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on March two on the same issue.
Altogether 26 trains, including 12023 Patna-Howrah Janshatabdi Express, 13111 Lal Quila Express, 12310 Rajdhani Express and 12392 Shramjeevi Express, were forcefully stopped for hours since early morning by the BJP protesters at different places under Danapur division, railway sources said.
Eight trains each were stopped by the protesters under Samastipur and Mughalsari divisions and seven under Sonepur division of the ECR, Prabhakar said.
An additional 48 passenger trains were also stopped at different stations under these four divisions of the ECR by the protesters.
The BJP workers also prevented movement of dozens of trains in Katihar and adjoining districts falling under Katihar division of the North-East Frontier Railway.
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