Ranchi, May 2 (IANS) A state-wide shutdown called by Left parties protesting the demolition drive affected schools and transport services in Jharkhand Monday while police booked social worker Medha Patkar for violating ban on gathering of five or more people in Ranchi.
Medha Patkar Monday visited Islamnagar where hundreds of houses were demolished during the state-wide drive against illegal buildings last month. She laid the foundation for a make-shift house for Devki Devi, a displaced woman, at a place where illegal houses were demolished under the state high court directive.
The district administration had imposed orders banning gathering of five or more people at any place in the district following the shutdown call.
Medha Patkar Sunday met Chief Minister Arjun Munda and requested him to halt the demolition drive.
The People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a Maoist organisation, had called for a shutdown to protest the on-going demolition drive.
In Ranchi, more than 150 people enforcing the shutdown were arrested.
Long-route buses did not ply and schools remained closed in Ranchi.
Coal transportation and mining activities were affected in Dhanbad and other districts.
Former chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) president Babulal Marandi continued his hunger-strike for the second day Monday.
The demolition drive, ordered by the Jharkhand High Court against encroachments and illegal buildings in the state, has claimed 13 lives and rendered more than 1.20 lakh people homeless.
Seven people, five in Dhanbad and two in Ranchi, were killed in police firing during anti-demolition protest, while six people died due to shock after they were served notices for pulling down their houses.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought a report from Home Minister P. Chidambaram about the ongoing demolition drive.
Munda Monday met the prime minister in New Delhi to clear the state government stand on demolition drive.