Chandigarh: Normal life was hit in Punjab,
parts of Haryana and Chandigarh today in the wake of day-long
`Bharat Bandh` call given by NDA and Left parties to protest
hike in fuel prices.
Shops and commercial establishments remained shut in
Punjab even as activists of BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)
and Left parties disrupted rail traffic for around ten minutes
at Jalandhar and Barnala, officials said here.
Swaran Shatabdi was stopped at a village near Jalandhar
by SAD activists for around ten minutes, officials said,
adding that a passenger train was also stopped at Barnala.
Several activists of SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab and Left
squatted on rail tracks in Bathinda district.
Barring normal rail and road traffic movement, the Bharat
Bandh evoked a near total response in Punjab.
"The bandh in Punjab is total and it is peaceful," SAD
spokesman Daljeet Singh Cheema said here.
Most of the private buses and private-aided schools and
institutions remained closed. Attendance in government schools
and colleges was also very low.
However, emergency services like doctors, clinics and
chemists shops functioned normally in Punjab and Haryana.
At most of the places, banks also remained opened in both
State-owned bus services were plying in both the states,
sources said here.
The functioning in the government offices in the two
states was normal, officials said, adding adequate security
forces were deployed to ensure peace and no untoward incident
was reported from any part of the two states and the Union
Territory of Chandigarh.
Reports of near total bandh have been received from
Phagwara, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Fardikot, Patiala and Moga in
In the neighbouring Haryana, where Congress is in power,
the bandh is being supported by Indian National Lok Dal
(INLD), CPI and CPI (M), besides the BJP.
The activists of BJP, INLD and Left parties asked the
shopkeepers to close their establishments and raised anti-UPA
The bandh response in Haryana is mixed with only a few
shops being open.
While, near total bandh was observed in Hisar, Sonepat,
Ambala, Kurukshetra and Yamuna Nagar. No untoward incident was
reported from any part of the state.