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Bihar bandh: Govt beefs up security in state; RLSP calls for shutdown after chief Upendra Khushwaha injured in police clash

The Bihar government has put in place stringent measures to ensure that law and order is maintained during the bandh called by Rashtriya Lok Samata Dal (RLSP) and supported by the 'Opposition Grand Alliance'.

According to reports, DGP Gupteshwar Pandey said that all officers, including Superintendents of Police (SPs) will be asked to ensure that "hooliganism" is not allowed "at any cost". "Schools will remain open. We will hold a meeting with bandh organisers to know about the places that they will stage protests at," Patna DM Kumar Ravi was quoted by The Times of India as saying.

The bandh was called after RLSP leader Upendra Khushwaha and several other party leaders were injured in a clash with the police in Patna on Saturday after being prevented from marching towards the Raj Bhavan to demand educational reforms in the state.

The Opposition Grand Alliance, of which the RLSP is a part, slammed the Nitish Kumar government over the police action, and the coalition announced a state-wide bandh in protest, according to reports.

Named 'Aakrosh' march, the RLSP rally was organised on the occasion of the birth anniversary of late Jagdeo Prasad, the tallest leader of Bihar from the Kushwaha community, considered the party's primary support base.

Armed with sticks and raising slogans denouncing the state government for failing to do the needful on the party's charter of demands on educational reforms, the RLSP leaders came to blows with policemen at the Dak Bungalow crossing, about two kilometres from the Governor's residence. When the agitators tried to force their way past the police cordon, they were quelled with baton charge and water cannons.

Kushwaha, who had also been hit, sat on the roadside along with a number of supporters alleging that they had informed the police about their march. If we were not supposed to go beyond a certain point, we should have been informed beforehand. But the administration did nothing of that sort, he said. It remained indifferent when we began our march and came up with an abrupt order to halt when we reached Dak Bungalow crossing, he added.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Feb 04, 2019 11:47:02 IST