Patna: Thousands were hit in Bihar on Thursday as a shutdown called by political parties including the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and BJP against FDI in retail trade, evoked a overwhelming response.
The protest derailed rail and road services. Protesters blocked rail tracks as thousands of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) supporters took to the streets, official and unofficial sources said.
Most shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed in several parts of Patna and other districts.
Activists of the JD-U, its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the Left parties enforced the shutdown.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad and state BJP president C.P. Thakur were arrested along with leaders of JD-U and Communist parties in Patna, police said.
Slogan-shouting JD-U members stopped trains at various railway stations.
“Several trains were halted and road traffic has been badly hit in Patna and its neighbourhood,” a police official said.
According to railway officials, hundreds of passengers were stranded at railway stations in Nalanda, Gaya, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Hajipur, Bhagalpur and Saharsa districts.
“The shutdown has badly hit us as well as the passengers,” a railway official told IANS.
Both national and state highways were blocked at various places. Similar scenes were witnessed in Patna. Demonstrators burnt tyres on the streets.
All private schools and colleges were closed in Patna in view of the shutdown.