The Bihar bandh called by the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Jan Shakti Party against price rise affected normal life in the State on Saturday.

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan were among those arrested along with thousands of party activists.

According to police, 11,317 people were taken into preventive custody even as protesters burnt tyres, blocked rail track and disrupted traffic on national highways.

This is the second ‘bandh' to hit the State this week following the one called by the NDA alliance and the Left parties on Monday.

Taking on the Centre and the State government for failing to rein in the rising prices of fuel and essential commodities, Mr. Prasad lashed out at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for failing to control black marketing. Terming the bandh a “grand success,” Mr. Paswan courted arrest along with prominent RJD and LJP leaders including Rajya Sabha member Ramkripal Yadav, State RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui, his LJP counterpart Pashupati Kumar “Paras” and the former Union Minister, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.

LJP spokesman Shailendra Pratap Singh said “both the Centre and the State governments were blaming each other for the spiralling prices.”

1,268 held in Patna

Additional Director-General of Police P.K. Thakur said 1,268 RJD-LJP activists were held in Patna, where they held up traffic in the busy Dak Bungalow square and Bailey Road for several hours.

Mr. Prasad, Mr. Paswan and other leaders were taken to the Gardanibagh camp jail in Patna. They were released in the evening.

There were some minor incidents of violence as the bandh supporters set ablaze a log on the track to halt a train approaching the Hajipur station.

Several trains including the New Delhi-Rajendra Nagar Terminal Rajdhani Express, the Sampoorna Kranti Express, the Haiti-Patna Express and the Janseva Express ran behind schedule.

A long row of trucks was seen waiting for clearance on the National Highway at various places, including Aurangabad, Muzzafarpur and Sasaram, as protesters blocked roads.

While schools, shops and major business establishments remained closed, Central and State government offices wore a deserted look.

A flop, says BJP

Gargi Parsai reports from New Delhi:

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday claimed that the bandh called by the RJD and the LJP in Bihar was a “complete flop.”

“The Bihar bandh against fuel price rise today [Saturday] was a complete flop. Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan have no credibility. Their double standard was exposed when they voted with the government during the recent cut motion against price rise in Parliament,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

The LJP also held a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar here on Saturday against the hike. Party members later submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a rollback of the recent hike.