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Police, protestors jostle amid pan-India shutdown

Police, protestors jostle amid pan-India shutdown
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First Published: Mon, Jul 05 2010. 01 02 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jul 05 2010. 01 02 PM IST
Shutdown keeps Gujarat public transport off road
Ahmedabad: The nation-wide shutdown called by the National Democratic Alliance over fuel price rise was effective in the state on Monday with most of the schools, colleges and business establishments remaining closed while public transport services were disrupted.
The shutdown at large remained peaceful in most parts of the state, except a couple of stone pelting incidents in Surat city.
Educational institutions remained closed in most parts of the city. Some college exams were also postponed due to the shutdown.
Police were deployed in every part of the city to avoid any untoward incident.
In Surat, the Bharatiya Janata Party workers stopped the staff buses carrying employees of various corporate houses like Laren and Toubro, Reliance Industries, NTPC and Kribhco in the Hazira industrial belt.
Delhi suffers shutdown effect in pockets
New Delhi: The nation-wide shutdown called by opposition parties to protest fuel price rise did not seem to have hit normal life in the capital on Monday though Bharatiya Janata Party workers blocked road, rail and metro services in some areas.
Buses, autos and private vehicles were plying on the streets from the morning, while offices registered more than an average attendance. Operations at the Indira Gandhi International airport were reported normal.
“Delhi Police has taken adequate security measures to ensure law and order during the protest. Policemen are on streets to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. No violence has been reported,” a senior police official said.
BJP supporters entered metro stations in Rajiv Chowk, Karol Bagh, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri West and Uttam Nagar stations posing as passengers and shouted slogans. Protestors also locked the gates of Patel Nagar station creating problems for commuters.
DMRC officials, however, said services were not hit and trains ran as per schedule.
Protesters also targeted the Indian Railways by blocking trains at Nangloi, Badli and Shakurpur stations.
Party workers started assembling around 9am in various parts of the capital and blocked traffic in major intersections and roads like Laxmi Nagar, Vikas Marg, ITO, Preet Vihar, Akshardham and Madhuban Chowk.
Protests were also witnessed at the Inter-State Bus Terminal in east Delhi’s Anand Vihar where BJP workers blocked the entrance of the depot preventing buses from coming in and going out.
In Preet Vihar, some BJP activists entered into a scuffle with police during the protest. “We were trying to remove the blockade after arresting some leaders. They wanted all of them to be arrested and entered into a scuffle with us,” a senior police official said.
In some localities like Uttam Nagar, protestors punctured tyres of DTC buses and some private vehicles.
Police said traffic obstructions due to protest were reported from Lado Sarai, Mahaveer Murty towards Gurgoan, Devli Mode, MB Road, Sai Baba Chowk, Rohini and Janakpuri.
Vehicular movement was also affected at Nizamudin-Ring Road T point, Tigri Khanpur, Apsara Border, Sindhu Border, Burari Chowk, Khajuri Chowk, Prashant Vihar and Paschim Vihar due to the protest.
Police said personnel have been deployed across the city to manage the traffic.
The shutdown had little affect on the operations of the Indira Gandhi International airport here though some flights to Mumbai, where the protest disrupted normal life, have been cancelled.
“Most of the arriving and departing flights were on schedule. No services have been disrupted though some flights to Mumbai have been cancelled,” an airport official said.
Goa observes shutdown, two held
Panaji: Even as Goa had almost 100% shutdown as a part of nationwide protest against spiralling prices on Monday, police arrested two people including Goa Shiv Sena chief Upendra Gaonkar for unlawful activities.
Superintendent of Police (North) Arvind Gauns said Gaonkar was arrested at Assnora village, 30 km away from Panaji.
“He along with other group were deflating the tyres of the tanker,” Gauns said, adding, a local panchayat member has been arrested for unlawful activity.
The private bus operators had also resorted for strike seeking hike in the ticket fare.
All the major markets in the state remained closed.
Police confirmed that stray incidents of stone pelting were reported at Borim village 50 km away from the state capital.
State government-owned Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd (KTCL) operated its full strength of 370 buses to make up for the absence of private buses on all the routes.
“We are running full strength under police protection,” said KTCL chairman Dipak Dhavalikar.
The schools were hit with major absenteeism in the cities as even school buses remained off the road fearing violence.
Majority school had almost less than half of total students attending the classes.
Shutdown stops Bihar
Patna: Normal life was on Monday severely hit in Bihar as train and road services ground to a halt while shops and business establishment pulled down their shutters following the nation-wide strike called by NDA and Left parties to protest the fuel price hike.
Several long distance and passenger trains, including New Delhi-Muzaffarpur Sampark Kranti Express were detained at different stations in Bihar following the agitation, East Central Railway (ECR) chief public relations officer Dilip Kumar said.
The Rajgir-Danapur passenger train was detained at Karahdhi, Hatia-Patna express at Jehanabad, Gaya-Patna passenger train at Islampur besides over 10 mail express trains were detained at Sasaram, Vikarmganj, Dholi, Narahan, Motihari, Sitamarhi and Jainagar railway stations in Bihar by the agitators, Kumar said.
Protestors cut hose pipes of some trains and squatted on the railway tracks to enforce the agitation.
Private operators suspended their bus services for the day because of the shhutdown. Buses under the Bihar State Transport Corporation also did not ply, an official said.
All private schools, colleges and other educational institutions were closed. Shops and major business establishments pulled down their shutters.
Reports reaching the state headquarters from Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Biharsharif, Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Motihari, Bettia, Siwan, Gopalganj, Chapra, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Khagaria and Katihar said the shutdown evoked good response with markets remaining closed.
Andhra Pradesh buses parked for the day
Hyderabad: Bus services were disrupted in various districts of Andhra Pradesh following the day-long nationwide shutdown called on Monday by opposition parties over price hike.
Workers of various opposition parties staged sit-outs in front of some bus depots in Khammam, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy and Kadapa districts of the state disrupting services of the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corp., causing heavy inconvenience to commuters, police said.
In Rajahmundhry, services of over 700 buses in nine depots have been cancelled as protestors stopped buses and organised agitations, a APSRTC official said.
However, train services in the state remained unaffected.
“No disruption has been reported so far. We have neither rescheduled nor cancelled any of the train services in the region,” the official spokesperson of South Central Railways said.
Meanwhile all schools, colleges and universities in the city remained closed. While banks will continue to function normally, petrol stations and cinema halls will remain shut till evening.
Hyderabad City police commissioner A.K. Khan said the situation in the city is normal and peaceful and no untoward incidents have been reported so far.
Orissa comes to a standstill
Bhubaneswar: Protestors picketed various Central government and PSU offices in Orissa to prevent employees from reporting for duty and disrupted road and rail traffic in the state on Monday due to the shutdown called by NDA to protest fuel price hike.
Vehicular movement on roads was virtually paralyzed throughout the state as buses, trucks and other vehicles stopped plying, leaving a large number of passengers stranded, police sources said.
Rail services were also affected as protestors stopped trains for a brief period at several places.
Shops, business establishments and trading outfits downed their shutters across the state though some chemist shops remained open for sometime at a few places, according to reports coming in.
In the state capital Bhubaneswar and commercial nerve-centre Cuttack, roads wore a deserted look with buses and autorickshaws keeping off the roads while police made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incidents during the hartal.
While the ruling BJD and supporting parties like CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, RJD, SP and JMM enforced the 12-hour hartal, BJP is separately observing a country-wide shutdown demanding roll-back of the hike in fuel prices.
Banks and educational institutions remained closed.
West Bengal comes to a halt
Kolkata: Normal life was thrown out of gear in West Bengal on Monday with air, rail and road services disrupted due to the nationwide shutdown called by Left and BJP-led NDA to protest hike in fuel prices.
Though metro rail services were operating, long distance train services were hit and many trains were stopped at various stations.
At the NSC Bose International Airport, only Air India operated its flights since morning. Five domestic flight including Kolkata-Delhi and Kolkata-Mumbai had taken off besides the Kolkata-Singapore international flight. However, private airlines did not operate their flights, airport sources said.
In the city, roads wore a deserted look in the absence of any traffic. Shops and most of the markets were closed.
This was the second shutdownin the state after the hike in price of petro products. Earlier on 26 June, CITU had give a strike call in the state to protest fuel price hike.
Maharashtra struggles to keep moving
Mumbai: Senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya along with many party workers was detained on Monday when they were staging a rail blockade even as protestors indulged in stone pelting at several places and damaged 12 buses in Pune to enforce the nationwide strike called by the opposition NDA and Left parties to protest fuel price hike.
The BJP workers were detained at Mulund station when they were staging sit-outs to block rail traffic.
Minor incidents of stone pelting on local trains were reported from suburban Borivali and Kandivali. In Pune, 12 city buses were damaged.
The buses plying in Kothrud and Pimpri area were stopped and stoned, damaging window panes, a spokesman of the Pune Municipal Corporation said.
In view of the shutdown, very few people ventured out in the early hours and several educational institutions in Mumbai were closed.
Authorities have deployed about 40,000 police personnel on the streets of Mumbai to avert any incidence of violence.
Opposition parties, which have called for the shutdown, have described the hike in petroleum products as “unjustified” and demanded a rollback.
Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, MNS and other smaller non-Congress-NCP parties in Maharashtra are supporting the bandh called by the NDA and Left parties.
BJP state unit president Sudhir Mungattiwar will lead the protests in Mumbai while Leader of opposition in the legislative assembly Eknath Khadse will be in Pune. Leader of opposition in the Legislative council Pandurang Phundkar will take part in the protests at Aurangabad.
The state government has said adequate security personnel have been stationed at railway stations, bus stops airports and important roads.
“I appeal people to come out. We have taken all security measures to ensure no untoward incident takes place. Anyone who takes law into their hands and attempts to paralyse the city shall be dealt with strictly,” warned Mumbai Police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal.
In Mumbai, additional BEST buses will be plying on the roads while elsewhere in the state, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses will be pressed into service.
Essential services like water, milk, electricity and hospitals have been excluded from the shutdown.
Deserted streets in Kerala, people remain indoors
Thiruvananthapuram: Normal life was disrupted in Kerala on Monday due to the nation-wide strike called by the NDA and Left parties to protest hike in fuel prices.
This is the second shut-down being observed by the state over the same issue in a span of 10 days.
Shops remained closed and buses, taxis and autorickshaws kept off the roads throughout the state, seriously affecting the mobility of people.
Police said no violence was reported from anywhere.
The ruling LDF had observed a day-long hartal on June 26 against increase in prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG.
Shutdown makes Monday a holiday in Jharkhand
Ranchi: Normal life was hit in Jharkhand on Monday following the opposition-sponsored nationwide shutdown with most educational institutes remaining closed and many buses going off roads, while 200 strike supporters were arrested from various areas.
Leaders and workers of Left and BJP separately hit the streets across the state to enforce the shutdown against spiralling prices. The strike is being observed peacefully, police said.
Passengers were stranded at bus stands after private bus operators suspended their services while non-operation of trucks affected mining activities in several districts.
Two trains were halted at Jamtara station as bandh supporters squatted on the tracks, police said.
Security forces have been deployed in strength at strategic points including railway stations, bus stands and airport to keep bandh supporters at bay, a senior police officer said.
CPI-M Central Committee member J.S. Majumdar, who was leading a protest by partymen, said, “The bandh is spontaneous because price rise has hit the common man the most.”
BJP’s state unit spokesman Sanjay Seth said the party is holding demonstrations at various places, including near Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL).
CCL’s deputy manager (public relations) Deepak Kumar said the public sector unit was working in full attendance without any demonstrations in or around its premises.
RJD’s state unit president Girinath Singh said the party was not supporting the shutdown but would observe a protest day against price rise on 13 July in Jharkhand.
Shutdown hits normal life in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: The nation-wide shutdown called by opposition parties over spiralling price rise on Monday badly affected the normal life in the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh.
People responded to the call given by the BJP-led NDA and the Left parties over the price hike which has badly affected the common man in the state, a top BJP leader said.
Roads wore a deserted look as buses, auto-rickshaws, trucks and cars joined the bandh, as they were the worst affected due to the recent petroleum products hike.
Educational institutions, cinema halls and petrol pumps also remained closed in the state.
BJP national vice president Karuna Shukla and party general secretary Thavar Chand Gehlot led the protesters in Raipur, appealing the traders to join the nationwide shutdown.
The shutdown was a total success in other parts of the state including Bilaspur, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh, Durg and Jagdalpur districts, said BJP state president Ramsevak Paikra.
“The Bharat Bandh is a big success and the common man has expressed their anger on the Union Government’s policy, which has badly affected,” Paikra said.
BJP MP’s will raise this issue in the Parliament in the coming days, he said.
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First Published: Mon, Jul 05 2010. 01 02 PM IST
More Topics: Shutdwon | BJP | NDA | Congress | Fuel |