Panaji: Goa wore a deserted look Monday as a bandh called by anti-English protestors paralysed life in the state, police said.
Four public transport buses were stoned and main road arteries were blockaded by members of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), protesting against the Goa government`s decision to allow government funding grants to English-medium schools in the state.
"Two Kadamba transport corporation (state-run corporation) buses were stoned. School buses were also stoned. But the protestors first allowed the students to alight from the bus," a police official said.
"The students were made to get down and the buses were smashed," an eyewitness said. The students were later dropped off in private vehicles by the agitators themselves.
The bandh call has been supported by right-wing political parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena as well as the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), a regional party which is part of the Congress-led coalition government in the state. The strike is also backed by more than 60 educational as well as social organizations in the state.
Virtually no public transport buses plied on the roads. Schools, which incidentally opened Monday after the summer break, were the worst hit in major towns like Mapusa, Panaji and Vasco.
The Goa government was hitherto offering aid and grants only to schools which teach in Konkani or Marathi. A cabinet decision May 25 allowed English language schools to also avail the government`s financial grants.