BiharNationalState

Shutdown against Bihar shelter home rape evokes mixed response

RJD, Congress, SPextend support, rail, road traffic hit

Patna.

A shutdown called by the Left parties in Bihar on Thursday against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district has hit rail and road traffic, police said.

The state-wide shutdown is backed by opposition parties including the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) (RJD), Congress, Hindustani Swam Morcha, Samajwadi Party and Lokrantrik Janata Dal.

Left party workers and supporters blocked railway tracks thereby affecting over a dozen trains since early Thursday morning.

According to reports reaching here, trains were stopped in Darbhanga, Madhubani, Jahanabad, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Patna and Bhojpur districts.

Protesters have also blocked several roads in Siwan, Bhojpur, Nawada, Patna, Arwal, Jagabad districts.

The case came to light earlier this year when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

The CBI on Sunday took over case following a recommendation by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

In Patna, bandh supporters were seen forcing shopping establishments to down their shutters at various places.

There was a skirmish between bandh supporters, including a number of women, and police near Gandhi Maidan, where the agitators were shouting slogans against the Nitish Kumar government.

Bandh supporters were also seen forcing owners of bookshops and coaching institutes near Patna University campus to close them.

Most of the leading schools remained shut in view of the difficulties teachers and students were likely to face while commuting.

In Muzaffarpur, CPI(ML) activists were joined by RJD workers in enforcing the bandh. They staged demonstration outside the residence of Brajesh Thakur, the arrested patron of the NGO which ran the state-funded shelter home where the inmates were allegedly sexually abused.

A report from Sheikhpura district said rail traffic remained disrupted for close to an hour as bandh supporters squatted on tracks at Sheikhpura station, blocking movement of Howrah-Gaya Express.

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Shutdown against Bihar shelter home rape evokes mixed response
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