Bharat Bandh: Huge protest against fuel price hike in India
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday reached Rajghat to participate in the nationwide shutdown protest or 'Bharat Bandh' called by the party against rising fuel prices.
This was Gandhi's first public appearance since he returned from Kailash Mansarovar yatra. He had embarked on the yatra on August 31.
He paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial before joining other opposition leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot in the protest.
The protest has been called by Congress and Left parties against the spiralling cost of petrol and diesel which have reached record levels. It is being supported by several opposition parties.
Security has been tightened in Jaipur over #BharatBandh. Police says, "Precautionary measures have been taken. Police have been directed to take stringent actions against the protesters who will restore to violence during protests." #Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/DWbxHRYPxK- ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
Partial response in Telangana, Andhra
A day-long Bharat Bandh or nationwide shutdown called by the Congress and Left parties to protest rising fuel prices evoked partial response in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
Bus services were affected since early morning in both the Telugu states. Many private educational institutions also remained closed.
Activists of the Congress and the Left parties launched a sit-in at the depots of state road transport corporations to prevent buses from plying on the roads.
Leaders of Congress, Left parties, Jana Sena and trade unions affiliated to them were arrested in Hyderabad and other towns in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries Saleem Ahmed and Srinivasan Krishnan led the protests in Mahabubnagar and Karimnagar.
Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana is not supporting the shutdown call.
Though Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is also not officially supporting the shutdown, its activists in both the states joined the protests against rise in prices of petrol and diesel.
Raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the protestors took to streets, staging road blockades and organising rallies.
Normal life unaffected in Tamil Nadu
Normal life was unaffected in Tamil Nadu on Monday due to a nationwide strike called by the Congress and supported by other opposition parties to protest against the rise in oil prices.
Schools, colleges, offices - private, public and government - functioned as usual and public transport plied on the roads but in lesser numbers.
Suburban trains also operated as usual.
Shops remained closed in few places in the state including Nagercoil, Mannargudi, Tiruvarur, as per reports reaching here.
However, bus services to neighbouring Karnataka and Kerala states were affected. The buses operated only upto the Tamil Nadu border as the strike got good response in those two states.
Partial shutdown in Himachal
Banks and commercial establishments were largely opened while shops in some towns of Himachal Pradesh were closed on the protest call by the Congress over the rise in fuel prices.
However, there was no report of traffic being held up due to the strike. There was also no report of violence anywhere, police officials here said.
However, private bus operators across the state joined the day-long protest, demanding a hike in bus fares.
"The protest is being organized across the state in a silent way without forcing anyone to shut their shops and establishments," a Congress leader told IANS here.
The impact of the Congress shutdown was more in the state capital Shimla and in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial area in Solan district and Kala Amb in Sirmaur.
There was a partial shutdown in Solan, Dharamsala, Kangra, Palampur, Mandi, Rampur, Kullu and Una and Hamirpur towns.
Rail, road traffic hit in Bihar
Rail and road traffic was hit across Bihar on Monday due to a nationwide shutdown called by the Congress against the hike in fuel prices.
The shutdown is being supported by the opposition Rashtryia Janata Dal (RJD), Left Parties and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).
Hundreds of Congress and other opposition parties leaders and workers took to the streets since early Monday in different parts of Bihar.
Over a dozen long route trains were halted at Patna, Gaya, Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur railway stations.
At several places, the activists were seen burning tyres on roads to protest.
They also raised slogans against the Central government and Prime Minister Narendar Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Additional security have been deployed all across the state to maintain law and order.
However, no untoward incident was reported anywhere.