M A I N   N E W S

Bandh paralyses normal life
Road, air traffic hit; top Oppn leaders court arrest
Tribune Reporters & Agencies

New Delhi, July 5
Normal life was disrupted in several parts of the country during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by a combined Opposition today in protest against fuel price hike with the greatest impact felt in NDA and Left-ruled states and Maharashtra.

Sporadic incidents of violence in which buses and trains were targeted and clashes with police who baton charged the protestors were reported during the day-long nation-wide strike.Several top NDA leaders including BJP president Nitin Gadkari and his colleagues Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley and JD(U) Chief Sharad Yadav courted arrest while leading protest rallies in Delhi and Lucknow.

CPM leader Brinda Karat and CPI’s top brass — A B Bardhan and D Raja — also courted arrest during the bandh in a show of strength by the opposition trying to make common cause on the price rise issue to corner the Congress Security personnel were out in full strength to ensure there was no major law and order problem while hundreds of bandh suppoters were taken into preventive custody.

Scores of flights were grounded in commercial airline hubs such as Mumbai and Kolkata while protesters attacked buses and trains, blocked roads with burning tyres and organised sit-down protests on key road intersections and inter-city railway links. Several trains were also forcibly stopped.Schools, colleges and business establishments remained closed as groups of protestors hit streets trying to enforce the 12-hour bandh in some cities.

Life was thrown out of gear in NDA-ruled Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh while it was a shutdown in Left-ruled West Bengal and Kerala. There was also a disruption of road and rail traffic.

Normal life was also hit in Congress-NCP ruled Maharashtra, mainly in Mumbai and Pune, while the bandh had a lukewarm response in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Haryana where UPA is in power.





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