Students ransack Bihar railway station to protest MNS attacks

October 25th, 2008 - 12:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Oct 25 (IANS) Hundreds of slogan shouting students ransacked a railway station in Bihar and threw stones at police Saturday as part of a shutdown called by students’ organisations to protest last Sunday’s attacks on non-Maharashtrians in Mumbai. Various student organisations have given a call for a Bihar shutdown to protest the attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere by Maharashtra Navnirnam Sena (MNS) activists on non-Maharashtrian candidates appearing for railway recruitment examinations.

Police sources said that hundreds of students virtually laid siege to Shekhpura railway station, 100 km from here, and ransacked it. Police used batons to charge at the crowd after the students threw stones at them, district police officials said.

In Patna, things were normal since morning with heavy deployment of security forces. Traffic on the roads was normal, but most educational institutions remained closed. Anticipating trouble, the district administration had deployed extra police and security forces all around.

“We have deployed 5,000 police personnel and directed them to use force against trouble makers and not allow anyone to create violence,” Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Kumar told IANS here.

On Wednesday, students’ organisations had demanded that ministers and parliamentarians from Bihar resign en masse over the issue.

On Friday, hundreds of slogan shouting students blocked roads and attempted to forcibly shut down shops in Patna. Protests by students were also reported from Motihari, Bettiah, Sheikhpura and Gaya districts.

After three days of widespread violent protests that saw railway stations being ransacked and the movement of at least 200 trains affected, a semblance of normalcy had returned Friday.

Railways started operating most trains from Patna and Danapur railway stations. But they continued to run behind time.

In the last five days, over half a dozen complaints have been filed across Bihar against MNS chief Raj Thackeray. The father of Pawan Kumar, a youth who was allegedly killed by MNS activists in Mumbai, filed a murder case against Raj Thackeray Friday in the court of chief judicial magistrate in Biharsharif, the district headquarters of Nalanda, about 100 km from here, court sources said.

Earlier, the police at Patna railway station filed a first information report (FIR) against Raj Thackeray and his supporters for the assault on students from Bihar.

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