Trains get back on track in Bihar, stray protests continue (Second Lead)

October 24th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Oct 24 (IANS) Thousands of passengers stranded at various railway stations in Bihar heaved a sigh of relief Friday as the violent protests slow down against attacks by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Mumbai and trains got back on track. The police said there were stray incidents of violent protests in Patna and other towns.In Patna, hundreds of slogan shouting students blocked roads and a group of students tried to shut down a market.

“In Patna, a mob of students staged protest, blocked roads, pelted stones and tried to forcibly shutdown shops in market. Road traffic was disrupted for two-three hours in Anisabad area,” a police official said. Later, the police dispersed the protesters.

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 returned.

Railways started operating most trains from Patna and Danapur railway stations as reports came in that the situation was under control. But trains are running behind time.

“We have decided to run the trains as the situation is peaceful; stranded passengers should not be inconvenienced any more,” said a railway official.

Additional Director General of Police Anil Sinha said: “No violence was reported Friday except stray protests. Unlike Thursday and Wednesday, it is peaceful“.

On Sunday, MNS workers attacked non-Maharashtrians, particularly those from Bihar, appearing for a railway recruitment examination in Mumbai. Youths who returned to Bihar Tuesday alleged that a candidate, Pawan Kumar, was killed by MNS activists in Mumbai.

Kumar, 25, a resident of Bara-Khurd village in Nalanda district, about 100 km from here, was one of the hundreds of students from Bihar appearing for the exam.

On Thursday, an all-party meet called by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to discuss the volatile situation decided to send a delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

Various student organisations Thursday called for a Bihar shutdown Saturday. But Friday, the students wing of Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party withdrew from the strike.

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