ABVP shutdown begins in Bihar


Patna : The statewide dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Bihar called by the students organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Thursday, to protest the government’s decision to set up a branch of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Kishanganj, began on a peaceful note with no reports of violence.

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Police sources said security forces were deployed to keep a close watch on the situation.

ABVP activists Monday clashed with the police in Patna during their protest against the setting up of the AMU branch. Ten police officials and students were injured.

Amid allegations of police excesses, the state government ordered an enquiry into the incident by Inspector General R.S. Bhatti.

Thursday’s shutdown is supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a constituent of the ruling alliance in the state, party sources said.

BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay Monday questioned in New Delhi the need to open a branch of AMU in Kishanganj, a Muslim-dominated area.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Tuesday sent a strong message by saying that the opening of the AMU branch will benefit all people, cutting across caste and community lines.

“There should not be any opposition to setting up of a branch of AMU at Kishanganj. The government is committed to improving the education level. It has nothing to do with any community,” Nitish Kumar said.

“We are committed to setting up a branch of AMU in Kishanganj. The state government has already provided land for it,” he added.

Muslims make up 66.7 percent of the voters in Kishanganj parliamentary constituency, about 400 km from Patna.