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Bandh: Oppn fuels public angst over price hike

Last updated on: July 05, 2010 17:33 IST

The combined Opposition's call for a Bharat Bandh on Monday has brought most of the country to a near standstill. Rediff.com correspondents report from across the country:

Mumbai:

Senior BJP leader and MP Gopinath Munde and BJP state unit president Sudhir Mungantiwar were detained from suburban Andheri, for staging a road blockade, police said.

Hundreds of BJP activists have also been detained with them by the police. On the bandh, Munde said, "The Congress-led Union Government promised to bring down the inflation in 100 days but nothing happened. We want these intense feelings of people against inflation to reach the Centre through the bandh."

On vandalisation of properties in many parts of the state, Munde said the Government is solely responsible for the damage. The situation of calling a bandh has arised due to the government, he alleged.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai said it is a spontaneous reaction of the people and the bandh has received good response. Meanwhile, several Sena activists were detained near Sena Bhavan in Dadar for staging a protest.

About 100 public transport buses were damaged in Mumbai and Pune today by activists trying to enforce 'Bharat Bandh,' called by the Opposition parties, but bus services remained unaffected, official concerned said.

"The protestors stopped 78 BEST buses and stoned, damaging window glass panes at several parts of the city. Kandivali, Antop Hill, Santacruz, Parel and Mahim are among the few areas where buses were targeted and damaged," said A S Tamboli, spokesperson of BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport, city's transport wing.

In the violent incidents, seven drivers and one conductor sustained minor injuries, he added.

However, the BEST services remained unaffected and all buses are plying on the roads amid tight security, he said. Some autorikshaws were also damaged in the violent incidents in the city, police said.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya along with many party workers was detained in Mumbai on Monday when they were staging a rail blockade even as bandh supporters indulged in stone pelting at several places and damaged 12 buses in Pune to enforce the nationwide strike called by the opposition National Democratic Alliance and Left parties to protest fuel price hike.

The BJP workers were detained at Mulund station in Mumbai when they were staging the rail roko. Minor incidents of stone pelting on local trains were reported from suburban Borivali and Kandivali in response to the bandh.

"I appeal people to come out. We have taken all security measures to ensure no untoward incident takes place. Anyone who takes law into their hands and attempts to paralyse the city shall be dealt with strictly," warned Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal.

About 25 per cent of Maharashtra government employees were present for duty in the Maharashtra secretariat, Mantralaya, today, despite the government's order for compulsory attendance.

"About 20-25 per cent of employees have come to work in Mantralaya today till morning 10 am and we expect more people to come till afternoon," Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Chandra Aiyengar told PTI.

Action would be taken against the employees as the government had already issued the order for mandatory attendance on the day, she said.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said Bharat Bandh by NDA and Shiv Sena in Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur and everywhere else in Maharashtra was 100 per cent successful.

Delhi:

Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Brinda Karat said opposition's Bharat bandh has drawn enormous public support and is a success so far.

"Bharat bandh has drawn unprecedented support of the masses, for they have felt the burden on their pockets and are expressing it in the open. The bandh is a success so far, attributed to strong public support," Karat told rediff.com

Protest marches are being carried out by opposition parties—Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party, and Janata Dal-United, causing traffic jams and road blocks in parts of capital New Delhi.

The protesters claim that the demonstration has been non-violent, purely in the interest of the common-man.

"We just want out to voice-out our distress over the unjustified price-rise, causing least trouble to public," said Sanjay Kumar, JDU party-worker.

He remained undeterred by police lathi-charge on the party-workers.

He said, 300 party-workers were arrested and taken to Parliament street police-station during the protest march. They were beaten and released after an hour.

Certain pockets of the national capital were also affected by the bandh, despite heavy police deployment to ensure normalcy.

BJP workers tried to interrupt Delhi metro services causing severe halts and delays at Rajiv Chowk, Karol bagh and Patel Nagar stations on the Dwarka-Anand Vihar line.

Bus routes have been affected in West Delhi-parts of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri.

Protests marches are taking place in various parts of Cannaught place.

"The trains are running slow and halting between Karol bagh and Rajiv Chowk stations. It took me 40 minutes to reach Barakhamba metro station from Patel Nagar, said Ruchi Mishra, a passenger.

The police has been deployed on these busy stations. A police official said, "Three to four police personnel are manning metro stations to keep the protesters at bay."

Senior leaders from the Left parties also orgnaised a protest rally near ITO.

"The bandh has been a total success and our workers have succeeded in chakka jam at a number of places in the capital," a senior party leader of BJP told rediff.com. He hoped that the bandh would become more effective by noon.

Reports from Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Sonepat, Bahadhurgarh and Gurgoan said that the traffic movement had been affected.

Pune:

In Pune, 20 public transport buses were damaged in stone pelting, officials said. Agitators stoned buses, many of which were stationary, as they came out on the streets to enforce Bandh despite a heavy police security. A spokesman of Pune Municipal Transnport said no passenger was injured in the incidents in which the buses were targeted.

In view of the bandh, very few people ventured out in the early hours and several educational institutions in Mumbai were closed. Authorities have deployed about 40,000 police personnel on the streets of Mumbai to avert any incidence of violence.

Opposition parties, which have called for the bandh, have described the hike in petroleum products as "unjustified" and demanded a rollback.

Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and other smaller non-Congress-NCP parties in Maharashtra are supporting the bandh called by the NDA and Left parties.

BJP state unit president Sudhir Mungattiwar will lead the protests in Mumbai while Leader of opposition in the legislative assembly Eknath Khadse will be in Pune.

Leader of opposition in the Legislative council Pandurang Phundkar will take part in the protests at Aurangabad. The state government has said that adequate security personnel have been stationed at railway stations, bus stops airports and important roads.

Karnataka:

40 persons were arrested when they staging a protest outside the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru. BJP Member of Parliament PC Mohan, 4 MLAs and 35 other activists were arrested when they were shooting anti-UPA slogans.

The protests took place when the Karnataka legislative assembly was in session.

All establishments across Karnataka including the IT firms in Bengaluru remained shut as part of the nation-wide bandh call on Monday.

All modes of public transport stayed off the road starting 6 am on Monday. IT companies in Bengaluru and Mysore decided to remain shut and most companies have decided to compensate the same by working next Saturday.

Bihar:

NDA leaders, including BJP general secretary Ravishankar Prasad, state BJP president C P Thakur and his JD(U) counterpart Vijay Choudhary, were arrested in Patna on Monday while enforcing the nation-wide bandh against the hike in petroleum products.

Rajya Sabha members Shivanand Tiwari and Upendra Kushwaha were arrested when they along with their hundreds of supporters blocked the busy Dakbungalow Road crossing here, official sources said.

The leaders were whisked away in a bus to a camp jail at Gardanibagh where they would remain detained till this evening, the sources said. Over 1500 NDA activists were arrested from different parts of the state for disrupting trains and blocking movement of vehicular traffic.

In Muzaffarpur, JD(U) Rajya Sabha member Anil Sahni, JD(U) MLA Vilat Paswan, besides several NDA supporters were taken into preventive custody, they said.

While legislators, including Shivaji Rai, were arrested from Motihari, JD(U) LS member from Nalanda Kaushalendra Kumar along with his supporters was arrested from Biharsharif during the bandh, the sources said.

Hundreds of women activists, including housewives, under the banner of Rashtriya Mahila Brigade took to streets on early Monday morning in Patna to protest against fuel price hike during the Bharat Bandh called by NDA and Left Parties.

The women holding placards, posters, banners and some holding swords in their hands raises slogans against fuel price hike and demanded the Central government to withdraw it.

The women activists first disrupted train services at Rajendra Nagar terminal in Patna for over three hours early on Monday morning by staging dharna on railway tracks. Later, they blocked the busy Dak-Bunglaw Square in the heart of Patna that hit road traffic completely.

Rashtriya Mahila Brigade president Anita Sinha told rediff.com in Patna that women in large number joined the country-wide shutdown to protest against fuel price hike because they have been badly affected by it.

Andhra Pradesh:

Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu along with his party workers was arrested in Ameerpet area here while staging a protest demonstration as part of the 'Bharat Bandh' against price rise, which affected transport services in some parts of Andhra Pradesh. 

Bandh supporters staged demonstrations in front of some bus depots in Khammam, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy and Kadapa districts of the state disrupting services of the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, causing inconvenience to commuters, police said.

In Rajahmundhry, services of over 700 buses in nine depots have been cancelled as protestors stopped buses and organised agitations, a APSRTC official said.

However, train services in the state remained unaffected. "No disruption has been reported so far. We have neither rescheduled nor cancelled any of the train services in the region," the official spokesperson of South Central Railways said.

All schools, colleges and universities in the city remained closed. While banks will continue to function normally, petrol stations and cinema halls will remain shut till evening.

Meanwhile, the advanced supplementary SSC Board exam for Social Studies Paper-I scheduled today has been postponed. It will now be held on July 8, officials said. Similarly all the examinations of Osmania University in Hyderabad, scheduled on Monday have been postponed in view of the bandh.

Hyderabad city police Commissioner A K Khan said the situation in the Hyderabad is peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported so far.

Kolkata:

Normal life was thrown out of gear in the Kolkata on Monday with air, rail and road services disrupted due to the Bharat Bandh called by Left and BJP-led NDA to protest hike in fuel prices.

Though metro rail services were operating, long distance train services were hit and many trains were stopped at various stations.

At the NSC Bose International Airport, only Air India operated its flights since morning. Five domestic flight including Kolkata-Delhi and Kolkata-Mumbai had taken off besides the Kolkata-Singapore international flight.

However, private airlines did not operate their flights, airport sources said. In the city, roads wore a deserted look in the absence of any traffic. Shops and most of the markets were closed.

This was the second bandh in the state after the hike in price of petro products. Earlier on June 26, CITU had give a strike call in the state to protest fuel price hike.

Kerala:

Normal life was disrupted in Kerala today due to the nation-wide strike called by the NDA and Left parties to protest hike in fuel prices. This is the second shut-down being observed by the state over the same issue in a span of 10 days.

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said no untoward incident had been reported today from any part of the state.

Shops remained closed and buses, taxis and autorickshaws kept off the roads throughout the state, seriously affecting the mobility of people. Police said no violence was reported from anywhere.

The ruling Left Democratic Front had observed a day-long hartal on June 26 against increase in prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG.

Tamil Nadu:

The nation-wide bandh called by the Opposition NDA and the Left against the fuel price hike evoked a lukewarm response in Tamil Nadu on Monday.

Public transport, educational institutions, the banking sector and other business establishments functioned normally as the bandh, supported by the state's main opposition party AIADMK and its allies, did not affect normal life, police said.

Rail services were not affected till 0900 hours. "All trains coming to the city were on time," railway sources said. However, four Kolkata-bound flights were cancelled following the strike in Left-ruled West Bengal, airport sources said, adding flights to other cities remained unaffected.

Security has been stepped up at important places like railway stations, power units, high court premises and telephone exchanges, police said. The state government has warned of stringent action against those indulging in violence and damaging public property.

District authorities said they have taken steps for smooth supply of commodities and maintenance of essential services. Only a few shops were seen closed as traders' bodies have not supported the bandh. A section of autorickshaws, owing allegiance to some Left unions, kept off the roads.

Orissa:

About 800 bandh supporters were arrested in Orissa during the country-wide bandh against petro price hike which hit life across Orissa and stalled road and rail traffic today.

The bandh was called separately by different political parties in the state. "We are organising a peaceful bandh," ruling Biju Janata Dal president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters at his office at the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar.

Despite BJD's support to the bandh, the state government offices remained open and employees were asked to reach their work places early.

Official sources about 800 bandh supporters, including BJP state unit president Jual Oram and senior leaders Suresh Pujari and P Harichandan were arrested while picketing at different places to enforce the bandh.

While Oram and Harichandan were held along with about 100 BJP workers while picketing here, Pujari and former BJP MP Surendra Lath were arrested in Sambalpur, where 200 supporters were also taken into custody, official sources said.

The bandh supporters disrupted movement of trains and buses leaving a large number of passengers stranded at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Cuttack, Balasore, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Bhadrak.

Some employees of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, including a personnel manager was injured when bandh supporters, allegedly belonging to BJD, stormed into company headquarters at Burla near Sambalpur and assaulted its staff and damaged electronic equipment and furniture, company sources said.

Bandh supporters prevented NALCO employees from entering their corporate office here though the production units of the navaratna PSU at Damanjodi and Angul functioned normally, company sources said. Work in NTPC's thermal power plant at Kaniha near Angul was also unaffected.

A Paradip report said though bandh supporters forced the administrative building of Paradip Port Trust to be closed for over two hours in the morning, loading and unloading activities in the port was normal. But clearing and forwarding of the goods were paralysed, official sources said. Other industrial units including IFFCO, PPL and other private companies were functioning with first shift employees attending to their offices.

In Rourkela, the bandh was peaceful and RSP functioned as usual. While shops and business outfits downed their shutters, trains were stopped. Reports from the districts said about 152 people were arrested at Balangir, 70 at Rourkela, 35 at Rengali and 30 at Dhenkanal.

Manipur:

The nation-wide bandh called by 13 opposition parties against the fuel price rise failed to evoke response in Manipur, officials said.

Reports said that markets, shops and other business establishments remained open while transport services between the state capital and district headquarters operated as usual. Attendance in government offices was also normal.

Some small markets in districts were, however, closed. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state so far.

Punjab:

In Punjab, ruled by Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP alliance, the bandh is near total with commercial establishments and schools remaining closed.

"The bandh in Punjab is total and peaceful," SAD spokesman Daljeet Singh Cheema said Chandigarh. "Essential services, however, are not paralysed," he said. However, officials maintained that rail and road traffic was plying and banks were opened.

Reports from Ludhiana, Phagwara and Jalandhar said that shops, commercial establishments and schools were closed in the wake of the bandh call. In Congress-ruled neighbouring Haryana where opposition parties, including Indian National Lok Dal and CPI and CPI (M), are supporting the bandh call the situation was mixed.

At some places, schools and commercial establishments are open. However, reports of total bandh have been received from Ambala. Main markets like Sarafa Bazaar, wholesale market, grain market remained closed, officials said.

The bandh, however, did not hit the working of the educational institutions as most of the colleges and schools remained open in the district. In Ambala Cantonment, a number of BJP workers led by local MLA Anil Vij persuaded the shopkeepers to close down their shops. Most of the business institutions remained closed in Barara town too.

In Sonepat, shops were closed in response to the bandh. However, road traffic was plying normal. All the educational institutions and government offices were also open.

Gujarat:

The nation-wide bandh called by NDA over fuel price rise was effective in the state with most of the schools, colleges and business establishments remaining closed while public transport services were disrupted.

The bandh at large remained peaceful in most parts of the state, except a couple of stone pelting incidents in Surat city. Educational institutions have remained closed in most parts of Ahmedabad.

Some college exams were also postponed due to the bandh call. Police has been deployed in every part of the city to avoid any untoward incidents. According to police, there has not been any incident of violence in the city following the nation-wide bandh today.

Means of public transport like the autorickshaws and bus service run by the municipal corporation were not seen on the roads. Some BJP workers were spotted on the roads in different areas asking small shop owners and banks to keep their shutters down for the day. These workers were carrying a BJP flag and had saffron scarf around their necks.

In Surat, the BJP workers stopped the staff buses carrying employees of various companies like L&T, Reliance, NTPC and Kribhco in the Hazira industrial belt.

Two BJP leaders Vasuben Trivedi, MLA Jamnagar city, and Lalji Solanki (MLA Jamnagar Rural) were out on the streets shouting slogans against the UPA government for not being able to control the inflation.

In Vadodara, total bandh was observed where schools, colleges, business establishments, petrol pumps remained closed while modes of public transport were impacted.

In Rajkot, the bandh got support from various trade unions and local chamber of commerce following which all business establishments remained closed. Petrol pumps were closed and autorickshaws remained off the roads in Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and other cities of the state.

Uttar Pradesh:

A number of Samajwadi Party workers were today injured in police lathicharge when they broke barricades and marched towards Rajbhawan to protest fuel price hike here during Bharat Bandh.

The SP workers broke barricades put by the police near the party headquarter and tried to forcibly march ahead leading to lathicharge by police injuring a number of party workers. In a bid to prevent the workers to march ahead, the police also used water cannons at them.

SP state president Akhilesh wondered, "Why we were being prevented from staging a democratic protest against rising prices, when Chief Minister Mayawati had herself given a call for a similar protest demonstration in the state on Tuesday?"

Terming the move as a reflection of  'Mayawati's double standards,'Yadav said, "It also proves our charge that the state government was as much responsible for rising prices as the centre."

His uncle Shiv Pal Yadav, who was the national general secretary of the party, sought to make it loud and clear, "Such oppressive and dictatorial tactics of the Mayawati government will not cow us down."

Even as police claimed that no one was injured in the clashes, both BJP and SP alleged that number of party workers had received grievous injuries and some were even hospitalized.

Reports confirmed  disruption in  rail  traffic in Allahabad, Varanasi, Jaunpur, Ferozabad, Etawah, Chandauli districts. Some of the trains that were halted included the New Delhi- Lucknow Shatabdi Express, Ganga-Gomti Express, Agra-Kanpur passenger, Bhatni passenger and Allahabad passenger trains.

Roads traffic was also blocked in several districts, including Agra, where SP activists damaged a number of buses and other vehicles plying on the road.

Jharkhand:

Normal life was hit in Jharkhand today following the opposition-sponsored 'Bharat bandh' with most educational institutes remaining closed and many buses going off roads, while 200 strike supporters were arrested from various areas.

Leaders and workers of Left and BJP separately hit the streets across the state to enforce the bandh against spiralling prices. The strike is being observed peacefully, police said in Ranchi.

Passengers were stranded at bus stands after private bus operators suspended their services while non-operation of trucks affected mining activities in several districts. Two trains were halted at Jamtara station as bandh supporters squatted on the tracks, police said.

Security forces have been deployed in strength at strategic points including railway stations, bus stands and airport to keep bandh supporters at bay, a senior police officer said. CPI-M Central Committee member J S Majumdar, who was leading a protest by partymen, said, "The bandh is spontaneous because price rise has hit the common man the most."

BJP's state unit spokesman Sanjay Seth said the party is holding demonstrations at various places, including near Central Coalfields Limited (CCL). CCL's Deputy Manager (Public Relations) Deepak Kumar said the public sector unit was working in full attendance without any demonstrations in or around its premises.

RJD's state unit president Girinath Singh said the party was not supporting the bandh but would observe a protest day against price rise on July 13 in Jharkhand.

Chhattisgarh:

The nation-wide bandh called by opposition parties over spiralling price rise, today badly affected the normal life in the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh. People responded to the call given by the BJP-led NDA and the Left parties over the price hike which has badly affected the common man in the state, a top BJP leader said.

Roads wore a deserted look as buses, auto-rickshaws, trucks and cars joined the bandh, as they were the worst affected due to the recent petroleum products hike.

Educational institutions, cinema halls and petrol pumps also remained closed in the state. BJP national vice president Karuna Shukla and party general Secretary Thavar Chand Gehlot led the protesters in Raipur, appealing the traders to join the nation-wide bandh.

The bandh was a total success in other parts of the state including Bilaspur, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh, Durg and Jagdalpur districts, BJP state president Ramsevak Paikra told PTI.

Himachal Pradesh:

Normal life was severely hit in several parts of Himachal Pradesh on Monday as the nation-wide bandh called by the NDA and Left parties to protest fuel prices hike received a favourable response in most parts of the state.

While most of the private school managements had declared a holiday, government school students and other office-goers were forced to trek long distances as vehicular traffic services came to a halt. Both the private and HRTC buses were off the roads.

Traffic has been hit in some areas also due to heavy overnight rains. Protesters also blocked trains at Summer Hill station for some time but the police intervened and track was opened.

The BJP workers took out a procession from Lower Bazaar and Mall Road in Shimla against the UPA government for rise in fuel prices. The left parties also held demonstrations and rallies and claimed that their bandh was a total success.

Shops and commercial establishments remained closed in Shimla and other towns but shutters were only half down at many places in suburbs and rural areas. The police was intensively patrolling the sensitives areas and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state.

Rajasthan:

The nation-wide Bharat bandh called by opposition parties to protest fuel price rise was peaceful in the pink city Jaipur with market associations and taxi operators joining the shutdown on Monday.

"About 18,000 auto-rickshaws were off the roads as most of the taxi unions supported the shutdown," Kuldeep Singh, secretary of Jaipur Zila New Pink city Auto-rickshaw drivers' Union said.

Commuters faced problem as public transport was hit with mini buses completely off the roads.

Also, most of the rickshaw's were not plying. "Operation of state roadway buses has also been affected as bandh supporters have closed the gate of interstate bus stand while local services have also been hit," a Rajasthan State Roadways and Transport Corporation official said.

"No untoward incident was reported in the city so far as tight security arrangements are in place," SP Jaipur East Hawa Singh Ghumaria said. "Bandh supporters tried to disrupt roadway bus operations in front of the interstate bus stand, while our over 500 teams are ensuring no shop or establishment barring emergency services are open throughout the city," Shelendra Bhargava, BJP Jaipur president, claimed.

Bandh call has evoked positive response in other cities of the state also.

Goa:

Even as Goa had almost 100 percent bandh as a part of nationwide protest against spiralling prices, police arrested two persons including Goa Shiv Sena Chief Upendra Gaonkar for unlawful activities.

Superintendent of Police (North) Arvind Gauns told PTI on Monday morning that Gaonkar was arrested at Assnora village, 30 kms away from Panaji.

"He along with other group were deflating the tyres of the tanker," Gauns said, adding, a local panchayat member has been arrested for 'unlawful activity'. Goa observed 100 per cent bandh as besides call for strike against spiralling prices of essential commodities and fuel hike, the private bus operators had also resorted for strike seeking hike in the ticket fare.

All the major markets in the state remained closed since morning. Police confirmed that stray incidents of stone pelting were reported at Borim village 50 kms away from Panaji.

State government-owned Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd operated its full strength of 370 buses today to make up for the absence of private buses on all the routes.

"We are running full strength under police protection," KTCL Chairman Dipak Dhavalikar told PTI. The schools were hit with major absenteeism in the cities as even school buses remained off the road fearing violence.

Assam:

Senior BJP and CPI(M) leaders were on Monday arrested for blocking rail and road traffic in Assam where train services were badly hit due to protests as part of the Bharat bandh.

Markets, shops, private offices, banks and educational institutions remained closed, while attendance in government offices and secretariat here was thin, official sources said.

All privately-operated long distance and city buses kept off the roads, while the state-run Assam State Transport Corporation plied with very few passengers.

Trains were either rescheduled, controlled or regulated in view of the bandh, North-east Frontier Railway sources said. Bandh supporters blocked train tracks and stalled Guwahati-Delhi Rajdhani Express for five hours at Rangiya railway station.

Manas Express, Rhino Passenger and Rangapara Passenger were also stalled, the sources said. CPM MLA Ananta Deka along with 280 other protestors were taken into custody by police at Rangiya and kept at a temporary jail for blocking the train tracks, demonstrating in front of the railway divisional manager's office and taking out a procession, official sources said.

State BJP president and MLA Ranjit Dutta along with his supporters were also arrested in Guwahati for attempting to block the Zoo Road in front of their office and were lodged in a temporary jail in Basistha police station.

Air India and Jet airlines flights operated from the LGB International Airport in Guwahati, while Kingfisher airlines cancelled its Kolkata-bound flights but operated those to Delhi, airlines sources said.

Mizoram:

The country-wide bandh called by the NDA and other opposition parties in protest against hike in oil prices did not have any impact in Mizoram barring cancellation of some Kolkata-Aizawl flights today.

All the government offices, educational institutions and shops remained open and vehicles plied as usual.

However, except for the Air India morning Kolkata-Aizawl and Guwahati-Aizawl flights, Air India Airbus and Kingfisher flights between Kolkata and Aizawl were cancelled, airport sources said.

There is no other national party in the Congress-ruled state.

Tripura:

Life continued normal in Tripura as the CPI(M) led ruling Left Front did not take part in today's bandh against rise of prices of petro products as it had observed a shutdown on the issue on June 28.

The Left Front, however, morally supported today's nation-wide bandh. The Tripura unit of the BJP, which also called a bandh today, had failed to disrupt normal life.

Jammu and Kashmir:

The NDA and Left sponsored Bharat Bandh to protest fuel price hike on Monday evoked mixed response in Jammu and Kashmir as transport services were affected in some parts of the state.

In Jammu, market places and business units were closed and traffic disrupted only in the old city. BJP activists took out a car and motorcycle rallies in the city amid tight security and raised slogans demanding reduction in fuel prices.

In the Valley, traffic went off the roads in Kathua district where total bandh was observed, officials said. Partial bandh was observed in Udhampur, Samba and Reasi districts of Jammu region but there was little response to the call in Doda, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch districts, they added.

"The bandh was observed in Jammu region and it was peaceful," BJP spokesman Ramesh Arora told reporters in Srinagar. "There was no untoward incident reported from any where in the region during the bandh," police said.

Meghalaya:

The Bharat bandh sponsored by non-Congress parties to protest against price rise failed to evoke any response in Congress-ruled Meghalaya, officials sources said.

Business continued as usual and life was normal, according to reports from the seven districts. Banks and other business establishments were open and there was no impact of the bandh on the movement of vehicles, both pubic and private.

Officials said there was no untoward incident reported from anywhere.

Arunachal Pradesh:

Life in Arunachal Pradesh remained unaffected by the Bharat bandh today. The opposition BJP had earlier announced that they would demonstrate against the rise in prices of petroleum products, but were not calling a bandh because of the 'Dree' festival of the Apatani tribes which falls today.

Madhya Pradesh:

The day-long bandh called by the BJP and other parties protesting against the hike in petroleum prices was near total and largely peaceful in Madhya Pradesh barring a few incidents when protesters forcibly tried to stop couple of trains.

In Jabalpur division, Howrah-Mumbai mail was stopped by protestors for about 15 minutes at Shridham station while Damoh-Kota passenger was also stopped for a few minutes at Sagar by the BJP workers, railway sources said.

The bandh was peaceful in Bhopal division where markets wore a deserted look. Except essential services, like milk booths and medicine shops, rest of the business establishments remained closed. Bhopal Divisional Commissioner, Manoj Shrivastava said the bandh was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the division.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj claimed at a press conference earlier in the day that people supported the bandh on their own as they are angry with the hike in the prices of petroleum products and rising inflation.

In Indore, a water-tanker belonging to Congress MLA, Ashwin Joshi was damaged by bandh supporters while flower-pots at a factory at Umariakhedi village were broken by protestors when they found it open despite the bandh call.

Text: Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru, Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow, Onkar Singh and Anisha Ralhan in New Delhi, M I Khan in Patna, N Ganesh in Mumbai and additional inputs from PTI