New Delhi: The nationwide bandh called by NDA and Left parties to protest the steep hike in petrol prices disrupted normal life across the country on May 31
Top political leaders were detained, while protesting on May 31. JD (U) president Sharad Yadav was detained in Saharsa in Bihar for leading the protest. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi courted arrest as part of Bharat Bandh protest.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists waved flags and shouted slogans as they blocked traffic during a protest against petrol price hike in New Delhi.
As reports from various states were pouring in, auto rickshaws had gone off the roads in the capital, Delhi, and supporters of the strike had blocked roads in the eastern city of Calcutta.
The protesters had also damaged public buses in the southern Karnataka state, and stopped trains in northern Uttar Pradesh.
In parts of BJP-ruled Karnataka where bandh supporters set on fire three buses and stoned about a dozen others forcing authorities to withdraw bus services in the city.
Public transport was hit and shops and business establishments remained shut in several parts of the Karnataka. Holiday was declared for schools and colleges on May 31 in view of the bandh.
In West Bengal the supporters of the 12-hour bandh blocked some roads in some districts and squatted on railway tracks.
They also blocked roads at Chapadali more in Barasat, in Bankura district, Budge Budge and some other places, police said.
They damaged buses in some places, they said. Meanwhile the state government had made elaborate security arrangement for the bandh. The state government also issued circular warning government employees against any leave on the bandh day.
“All state government offices will remain open and all government officers and employees should report for duty. Government employees will not be granted any leave on May 31,” Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh said in a circular.
In Maharashtra: The bandh supporters pelted stones at buses in two suburban areas of the city, Pune, Nagpur and Thane district and stopped some buses by blocking roads in Satara district of Western Maharashtra.
There were at least four incidents of government buses being stoned in Pune and Thane as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena, Left, Samajwadi Party and others called for a nation-wide shutdown to protest the recent hike in petrol prices.
The shutdown was also supported by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and even Mumbai’s Dabba-wallas, who did not provide their regular tiffin delivery services on May 31.
The movement of trains and commercial vehicles was hit in several parts of Odisha as the shutdown against the hike in petrol prices, called by various parties, including the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), came into effect.
Protesters blocked roads and highways in several areas and disrupted traffic.
In Rajasthan, markets were closed and private buses off the road as the bandh began.
With trade associations extending support to the bandh called by BJP, markets in major cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur were closed.