Left leaders detained, shutdown hits Delhi (Second Lead)May 31st, 2012 - 3:50 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) The 12-hour shutdown against fuel price hike hit normal life in the national capital Thursday as commuters bore the brunt of roadblocks and protests in several parts of the city.
By afternoon, prominent leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) - one of the many political parties which had called for the nation-wide shutdown - courted arrest, demanding complete rollback of the hike.
“This (arrest) is part of the big struggle against petrol price rise. The Left is protesting unwarranted, unjustified and unprecedented hike in petrol prices,” said Brinda Karat, CPI-M leader.
“We will protest till there is complete rollback,” she added.
Left party leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, and D. Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) were detained at the Daryaganj police station. Party workers raised slogans against the central government and blocked vehicles from plying on roads.
While protests hit vehicular movement in parts of the city, commuters braved a harrowing time. With auto-rickshaw unions also joining the strike, nearly 55,000 autos and 15,000 taxis were believed to have stayed off the road in the capital.
Delhi’s only dependable option - the Metro train - was also jam-packed, adding to the commuters’ woes.
“Autos are not plying and buses are anyway known for their low frequency. The only option for commuters is Metro train, which is jam-packed,” Sudisha Bhola, textile engineer, told IANS.
“At the Rajiv Chowk Metro station, there was a near-stampede like situation. The Metro was also running slow,” Bhola, commuting to Gurgaon from Rajiv Chowk, added.
As traffic was moving at snail’s pace in many parts of the city, people chose to stay at home to avoid inconvenience.
“I came back home after seeing crowds protesting on NH-24 (National Highway-24). The road was blocked and there was no point heading through that road,” Delhi resident Smita Srinivasan told IANS.
Popular markets and commercial centres such as Chandni Chowk and Laxmi Nagar wore a deserted look as around 300 trader associations supported the shutdown.
“The very fact that this shutdown is being followed on such a large scale all over India shows that the common man won’t tolerate price hikes and is frustrated by the government’s current scheme of things,” said Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
- Harrowing time for Delhi as shutdown hits traffic (Lead) - May 31, 2012
- Shutdown hits Delhi, autos add to woes (Third Lead) - May 31, 2012
- Shutdown cripples Andhra Pradesh - May 31, 2012
- Shutdown evokes mixed response in Andhra (Lead) - Sep 20, 2012
- Railway minister leads Trinamool rally against fuel hike (Lead) - May 25, 2012
- Delhi commuters face tough time due to shutdown - May 31, 2012
- Protests in Andhra over petrol price hike - May 15, 2011
- CPI-M, BJP protest petrol price hike in Srinagar (Lead) - May 31, 2012
- Shutdown hits normal life in Andhra Pradesh - Sep 20, 2012
- Railway minister leads Trinamool rally against petrol hike - May 24, 2012
- CPI-M threatens nation-wide protest against diesel price hike - Sep 14, 2012
- Protest against petrol prices leaves India hobbled (Roundup) - May 31, 2012
- Shutdown evokes mixed response in Meghalaya - May 31, 2012
- Shutdown near-total in Mumbai, most of Maharashtra (Second lead) - May 31, 2012
- Allies join opposition in condemning petrol price hike (Second Lead) - May 24, 2012
Tags: auto rickshaw, brunt, capital delhi, chowk, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, commuters, CPI, fuel price hike, low frequency, metro station, party leaders, petrol prices, rajiv, roadblocks, rollback, sitaram yechury, smita, srinivasan, textile engineer