Jamshedpur: The statewide bandh called by opposition parties against the land acquisition bill passed recently by the Jharkhand government partially affected normal life in the city.
Over 2,500 bandh supporters courted arrest in different police station areas. They were taken to camp jail in Sakchi and Telco. They were later released on PR bond. The 24-hour bandh was however effective in the remote rural areas. Opposition leaders termed the bandh as successful while the BJP leaders dubbed it as a total failure.
Amidst strict police vigil, the opposition leaders were arrested before they could enforce bandh in their respective areas as public modes of transport including auto-rickshaws and train services remained affected.
Shops, showrooms, malls and other business establishments remained closed. Though banks remained opened but officials worked inside with shutters down. Petroleum outlets too remained closed. National Highway-33 between Jamshedpur and Ranchi and Jamshedpur-Ghatshila wore a deserted look as few trucks plied.
Over 450 long distance buses for various destinations including Ranchi remained off road. The services of mini buses which ferries passengers within the city remained suspended. However, a few auto-rickshaws were seen ferrying passengers in station area and Bistupur.
A strong deployment of police personnel was made outside the Tatanagar railway station to prevent entry of bandh protagonists. The bandh failed to have any impact on the bandh as trains ran as per schedule.
A flag march comprising PCR vans and riot control vehicle was taken out in Mango. As many as 4,000 policemen were deployed in strategic locations across East Singhbhum district to tackle any untoward incident.
“We have received a spontaneous response. People closed their establishment showing solidarity with our protest. The commercial establishments were also closed,” said a JMM leader.
Another leader said the Land Bill that has been introduced by the government was aimed at promoting the commercial interests of corporate houses at the expense of the farmers. He accused the Narendra Modi government of dividing the country on communal lines and also widening wealth inequality among the industrialists and the common man.
City SP Prabhat Kumar said that over 2300 political activists from different political parties were taken under preventive custody from different police stations and later released on PR bonds in evening. “In view of the bandh, security was beefed up. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel were deployed at Sakchi roundabout and sensitive locations. The activists arrested were released in the evening,” the city SP said.
Shops and commercial establishments barring medical stores and hospitals downed shutters in all the major localities of the city. However, no major disturbances were reported from any part of the city as the public apprehending trouble due to the bandh call stayed in-door.