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Several opposition leaders detained during Bharat Bandh

New Delhi Sep 20:  A bandh called by NDA, Left parties and the SP to protest against diesel price hike, FDI in multi-brand retail and cap on subsidised LPG on Thursday evoked mixed response as

PTI Updated on: September 20, 2012 18:00 IST
several opposition leaders detained during bharat bandh
several opposition leaders detained during bharat bandh

New Delhi Sep 20:  A bandh called by NDA, Left parties and the SP to protest against diesel price hike, FDI in multi-brand retail and cap on subsidised LPG on Thursday evoked mixed response as protestors disrupted road and rail traffic in parts of UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha but it had little impact in Mumbai.

Several opposition leaders were detained across the country during the protests.

Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, Left leaders Prakash Karat, A B Bardhan, Sitaram Yechury and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu courted arrest in Delhi after joint protests.

In Delhi, most of the markets remained closed but vehicular movement was normal though protesters blocked traffic at some places.

Shops in some areas like Bhogal, Laxmi Nagar, Defence Colony and South Extension in the capital were open in the morning hours but big markets like Khan Market, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk and Kashmere Gate were shut.

Auto rickshaws plied in the city and buses of state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were on the roads in large numbers. At New Delhi railway station, auto drivers staged a protest and refused to carry passengers.

However, most of the private schools in Delhi remained closed.

BJP supporters blocked vehicular movement on Vikas Marg. A BJP spokesperson said the party will be staging protests at around 100 locations in the national capital.

A senior Delhi Police official said a large number of personnel have been deployed. “We have ensured that every major road has police presence,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh

Samajwadi Party and BJP workers staged demonstrations and stopped trains at a number of places in Uttar Pradesh. Protestors stopped trains in Mathura, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad and Lucknow while BJP workers and traders blocked the Agra-Gwalior Highway by burning tyres.

Major markets remained closed at a number of places in UP, including in the state capital Lucknow.

Raising slogans against FDI in retail, a group of SP workers held a demonstration outside the Walmart store at Sultanpur in Lucknow. The party also protested outside Divisional Railway Manager's office in Hazratganj.


BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad led about 200 party leaders and workers in courting arrest near the busy Dak Bungalow roundabout here during the bandh.

Besides Prasad, the BJP Bihar unit president CP Thakur, Kiran Ghai, Radhamohan Singh, Mangal Pandey were among prominent leaders who courted arrested.

About 200 BJP leaders and workers, including Prasad, have been detained and taken to Kankerbagh stadium where they will be put up at a makeshift camp jail, police sources said.

Earlier, Prasad led the BJP leaders and workers in taking out a bicycle march from the BJP office upto Dak Bungalow roundabout to protest the Centre's economic policies, including 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retain, diesel price hike and other issues.

The protesters shouted slogans against the UPA government for its ‘anti-people' policies and demanded rollback of the measures like FDI in retail, diesel price hike and rationing of subsidised LPG cylinders.


Normal life in Jharkhand was affected due to the nationwide strike to protest against FDI in multi-brand retail and hike in diesel price.

Slogan-shouting bandh supporters squatted on railway tracks in Koderma, Dhanbad and other places disrupting train services for over a couple of hours, railways sources said.

BJP activists also put up blockades on national highways, affecting vehicular traffic, to protest Centre's decision allowing FDI in retail, hike in diesel prices and limiting subsidised LPG cylinders.

Work at PSUs was affected following disruption of transportation of coal, iron ore, bauxite and other minerals in view of the stir.

Most educational institutions, shops and business establishments remained closed for the day.

”The BJP demands immediate roll back of diesel prices and limitation of subsidised LPG cylinders,” party spokesman Pradip Sinha said at a gathering in Albert Ekka Chowk here.

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric-JVM) president Babulal Marandi, JMM vice president Sudhir Mahto, RJD state unit president Girinath Singh and Left leaders also demanded immediate rollback of the decisions.

JMM and JVM are supporting the UPA government at the Centre.

The bandh has affected normal life in Assam. Markets, shops, educational institutions, banks and private offices remained closed, while long distance private buses and other vehicles were off the roads, officials said.

Though privately operated city buses did not ply, the government-run ones were seen on the road with auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws ferrying passengers.

Trains and air services also operated normally, they said.

Elaborate security arrangements were put in place with security personnel deployed on the city streets, highways, at vital installations and vulnerable areas across the state, they said.

All the state government offices, including transport and power, were functioning normally. The government had issued a notification yesterday to ensure normal functioning and attendance in all government offices and undertakings in the state in view of the nation-wide bandh today.

The notification warned that the government would resort to pay-cut, break in service and disciplinary action against employees who absent themselves from duties during the bandh period.

All heads of offices and departments were further instructed to deduct pay and allowances for unauthorised absence from offices and duties today and to initiate disciplinary action for such unauthorised absence.


In Goa the bandh has evoked a mixed response. The state is currently ushering in the ten-day Ganpati celebrations.

While markets remained partially closed, the private buses remained off roads since morning.

The bus stands wore a deserted look, but the markets registered considerable presence of the people.

With Ganesh Chaturthi, the biggest festival of the state, commencing yesterday, the people were seen buying commodities required for celebrations.

There was no untoward incident reported as bandh was not forced either by NDA or Left parties.

The state-run Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) was plying its buses on the regular routes.


The bandh has failed to evoke any response in Sikkim.

Schools and Colleges in the state are open and vehicles are plying as usual in the roads, official source said.

Government offices, banks and markets are also open, they sources said.

Reports from the districts also said that the bandh failed to evoke any response and schools, colleges, offices and markets were open.


BJP activists were detained in Meghalaya when they tried to force shopkeepers to close the shutters in view of a bandh called by them to protest FDI in multi-brand retail and diesel price hike.

BJP general secretary Dipayan Chakraborty along with 26 party volunteers were picked up by the police while forcing shopkeepers to down shutters and forcing public transport vehicles off the roads, East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner, Sanjay Goyal said.

Banks, markets, shops and educational institutions were closed, with government offices recording low attendance, reports said.

Government transport vehicles and a few taxis were on the roads.

The bandh was being supported by the opposition National People's Party and the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People. PTI JOP PC SG 09201159 NNNN


Life was affected in Manipur due to the 12-hour general strike called to protest diesel price hike, FDI in multi-brand retail and ceiling on subsidised LPG.

Markets, business establishments, educational institutions and entertainment houses remained closed while attendance in government offices was almost nil, reports said.

Buses, taxis and private vehicles were off the roads as also transport services between Manipur and neighbouring states, the reports said.

The strike also affected normal life at all district headquarters.

Security measures were in place at all vulnerable areas in the state capital complex.


The nation-wide bandh has affected normal life in Karnataka.

Shops and offices chose to remain shut and only essential commodities like milk and medical services are available. All schools and colleges were closed.

Vidhan Souda, the Secretariat of Karnataka, wore a deserted look. However, Karnataka High Court and lower courts are functioning.

Buses owned by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation were off the road.

Those who arrived by trains were stranded in the railway station. There were reports of some autorickshaw drivers fleecing commuters.

Electronic City, where many IT and BT companies are situated, also wore a deserted look. The IT companies have deployed Central Security Force personnel to man important infrastructure on their campuses.

In Mysore, BJP workers stopped a Kannada film shooting in which Kannada actor Ramya, who recently joined Congress, was acting, police said.

The bandh also affected normal life in cities like Mandya, Davanagere, Hubli-Dharwad, Shimoga, Tumkur and Mangalore.

The bandh also received good response in Gadag and Bidar districts.


Normal life was disrupted in Odisha, barring the western region, due to disruption in train and road traffic during Thursday's bandh.

State government offices, banks and insurance offices remained closed on the occasion of ‘Nuakhai'.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained closed due to the festival celebrated with gaiety in western districts like Sambalpur, Bolangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Jharsuguda and Deogarh.

Describing the bandh, being observed as part of a country-wide programme as a success, BJP state president Jual Oram said, “We have decided to exclude all activities related to Nuakhai festival from the purview of bandh.”

Over a dozen trains were stopped at several railway stations including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Khurda Road, Bhadrak, Balasore and Berhampur as bandh supporters staged dharna on the tracks, an official of East Coast Railway (ECoR) said.

Vehicular movement was disrupted in many parts of the state as passenger buses, trucks and auto-rickshaw remained off the roads, police sources said.

A large number of passengers were seen stranded at railway stations and bus stands at many places, while roads wore a deserted look during the shut-down.

City bus services in many places like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri were suspended.

In Bhubaneswar, supporters of BJP and left parties staged blocked roads and picketed separately at different places in a bid to enforce the bandh called by them.

Shops, business establishments and commercial centres downed their shutter in major areas including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Balasore, Baripada, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Puri.

Elaborate security arrangements were made by the police with heavy deployment of force throughout the state to prevent any untoward incident during the shut-down.

”The situation is peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported from any place. We are keeping a close vigil,” a senior police official said.

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