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Lalu Prasad held during Bihar bandh, rail, road traffic hit

Patna (IANS): RJD chief Lalu Prasad was arrested here on Monday while demonstrating during the day-long Bihar bandh called to highlight and protest against the central government's failure to make public the caste-based census.

"Lalu Prasad was arrested at the Dak Bungalow Crossing in Patna along with hundreds of his party leaders including legislators and former ministers and supporters," police said.

Lalu Prasad was taken to a temporary camp at Bihar Military Police campus, police said.

Before being arrested, he exhorted the people from the 'Mandal' (the backward classes) to rise and uproot the 'kamandal' (anti-backward classes BJP).

The former Bihar chief minister also threatened to launch a bigger movement than the Mandal movement of the 1990s if the Narendra Modi government failed to make public the caste-based census data without further delay.

Rail services were on Monday hit hard after Rashtriya Janata Datl (RJD) workers halted several trains to enforce a state-wide shutdown. "Several trains were halted to enforce the shutdown," a police official told IANS here.

Thousands of RJD supporters took to streets and blocked highways at various points across the state to ensure a successful shutdown, supported by the state's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

"Road services are also hit. No long-route buses are plying," the official said in the afternoon.

Schools in Patna were closed in view of the shutdown.

"The state government has made elaborate security arrangements in view of the shutdown," said a senior government official.

The Patna high court, however, sought a report from the Bihar government following an incident during which a judge's vehicle was stopped by protestors here.


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