New Delhi: The nation-wide bandh called by
13 non-NDA and non-UPA parties today to protest against price
rise paralysed normal life and hit air and rail services in
Left-ruled West Bengal and Kerala while it evoked a partial
response in some states.
The 12-hour `Bharat Bandh` that ended at 6 pm had some
impact in Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and
Jharkand. Normalcy prevailed in Delhi and in states like
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu barring sporadic
Besides the four Left parties, the 13-party grouping
which gave the call for the bandh consists of AIADMK, BJD, SP,
RJD, TDP, RLD, LJP, JD-S and INLD. The grouping is pressing
for a roll-back in the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and
Roads in West Bengal and Kerala where educational
institutions and offices were closed wore a deserted look.
Thousands of arriving passengers at airports and trains were
stranded till evening and faced hardship.
More than 4,000 bandh supporters, including LJP
president Ramvilas Paswan and other opposition leaders, were
rounded up in Bihar.
Hundreds of outstation passengers coming to Kerala as
well as domestic commuters were caught unawares as the
protesters picketed trains in various stations including at
the entry points like Palakkad and Kasargode leading to late
running of long-distance trains upto two hours.
Police said 29 cases of train picketing had been reported
A CPI-M statement claimed that the call given for a
country-wide hartal against price rise met with a "big
response" in most parts of the country.
Rail services were disrupted in many parts of Uttar
Pradesh and three buses torched in Lucknow. SP supremo Mulayam
Singh Yadav`s son and MP Akhilesh Yadav was detained in
Lucknow while leading protestors.
Two train passengers were injured as a clash broke out
between travellers in Ganga Sagar Express and bandh
supporters at Pandua station in Hoogly district.
In West Bengal, road and rail services and flight
operations were badly affected and shutters in commercial
areas were down. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at
railway stations and airports for want of transport.
Airport sources in Kolkata said only ten out of 25
domestic and international flights took off this morning. They
included flights of Air-India, Jet Airways and Jetlite.
An Eastern Railway spokesperson told PTI that due
obstructions put up by bandh supporters at several stations,
train services were disrupted at Howrah and Sealdah division.
Long-distance trains were stranded at various stations as
bandh supporters sat on the railway tracks.
Vehicular movement was affected across BJD-ruled Orissa
as bandh supporters blocked national highways, state highways
and other roads, putting a halt to plying of passenger buses,
trucks, taxis and auto-rickshaws, police sources said.
Rail services were also affected as trains were
stopped at different stations for a brief period, they said.
Normal life in several parts of Jharkhand was affected
due to the bandh and the 48-hour shutdown by the CPI(Maoist).