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Normal life hit in some states due to Bharat Bandh

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Delh: Normal life was hit in some states Monday with offices and educational institutes closed and vehicles off the roads during an opposition sponsored 'Bharat Bandh' which was largely peaceful, barring some incidents of violence. A three-year-old girl died in Bihar's Jehanabad district which the BJP alleged was due to delay in find a vehicle to take her to the hospital. Train services were affected in Odisha.

The bandh was called by 21 opposition parties led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. It was kickstarted at Rajghat where Gandhi offered holy water from his Kailash Mansarovar yatra. He then accompanied opposition leaders then marched to Ramlila Maidan from Rajghat. In states like Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh life was hit by the shutdown, but Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Mizoram remained largely unaffected.

Rahul Gandhi alleged hatred was being spread and the country being divided under the rule of  Modi.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said it was time for all opposition parties to shed their differences and move forward unitedly "to save" sovereignty and democracy. The BJP dubbed the bandh as an attempt to spread rumour and confusion among the masses and said people will "puncture the grand alliance balloon" floated by the opposition party.

In New Delhi, offices, schools and colleges in opened at their regular time despite the bandh. Traffic was affected in Daryaganj and around Ramlila Maidan due to the protest.

In Odisha, train services were disrupted in many places as Congress workers blocked railway tracks to enforce the bandh. At least 10 trains were cancelled. Vehicular movement came to a grinding halt in many places as Congress workers blocked roads. Buses, taxis and autorickshaws stayed off the roads.

Workers of various political parties raise slogans at a protest during 'Bharat Bandh', called over the fuel price hike, in Patna.

In Bhubaneswar, Congress workers staged a road blockade disrupting movement of vehicles on the national highway. Bandh supporters also locked the ticket counter of the Sun Temple. Shops, markets, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed. Examinations were cancelled by the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT). In Kerala, the hartal hit normal life. Both public and private transport buses and autorickshaws kept off the roads.

The bandh evoked mixed response in Telangana. The police took scores of workers of the Congress, Left and TDP into custody when they held protests and prevented buses from plying. AICC secretary Srinivasan Krishnan and 40 others were taken into preventive custody in Karimnagar town.

Congress supporters raise slogans in Bengaluru.

Congress workers cook on a 'chulha' as they stage a protest against fuel price hike in Chikmagalur

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