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Home > India > Business > PTI > Report

Bandh cripples life in Left-ruled states

June 05, 2008 13:31 IST

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Normal life came to a grinding halt in Left-ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura on Thursday as the ruling fronts in these states enforced a dawn-to-dusk bandh in protest against the steep hike in petroleum products.

Major roads in Kolkata and Agartala wore a deserted look as vehicles, both private and public, went off the roads in response to the bandh called by the Left parties in power.

However, two-wheelers and private vehicles were seen plying in Thiruvanathapuram, where buses and autorickshaws went off the roads.

The Left Front in all the three states had on Wednesday given call for a 12-hour bandh to protest against the increase in prices of petrol by Rs 5 a litre, diesel by Rs 3 and LPG cylinders by Rs 50.

Bus, train and air services were affected in both West Bengal and Tripura with various airlines suspending their operations till 6 pm. Air and train services functioned as usual in Kerala.

Various airlines suspended flights from Kolkata for the bandh period. Ahead of the bandh coming into force, 23 flights belonging to various airlines took off in the wee hours, airport sources said.

No flights took off or landed at the Agartala airport since this morning, official sources said. Long distance and EMU trains services were also affected in Kolkata due to blockades at different stations in Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol and Malda divisions, while as many as

16 trains, including Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express and Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express were cancelled. Shops, markets and educational institutions remained closed in the eastern metropolis which also witnessed heavy rains early in the day.

West Bengal, Raj Kanojia said bandh supporters put up road and rail blockades at some places but no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state.

The bandh call by the ruling LDF in Kerala evoked no response from the IT sector and its impact on the industries was also minimal.

Except a minor scuffle between bandh supporters and police in Nilambur in Malappuram district, no violence was reported from anywhere.

Besides, the BJP had also called for a day-long bandh in the southern state. BJP workers took out marches separately in all major towns, demanding immediate roll back of the hike on petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

Schools and colleges remained closed in Tripura and the Tripura university cancelled the examinations scheduled for today.

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