Madhya Pradesh sees clashes, arrests during shutdown (Lead)July 5th, 2010 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS
Bhopal, July 5 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh saw a near total shutdown Monday as protesters clashed with the police and ransacked shops during the daylong strike called by opposition parties against the hike in fuel prices.
The strike hit normal life in capital Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior cities. At a few places in Jabalpur, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers clashed with the police as they tried to enforce the strike on educational institutions.
Dozens of Bajrang Dal activists ransacked a food plaza at Habibganj railway station in Bhopal while BJP workers stormed into a wine shop in Jabalpur. Clashes were reported from several areas of Gwalior and Indore cities as well.
Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj led the strike in Bhopal.
“The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government is totally insensitive towards common peoples’ hardships…the BJP will grill the central government in the upcoming monsoon session of parliament over the rise in fuel prices,” Swaraj told reporters.
Officials at the police headquarters here said that at least 450 protesters, mostly BJP activists, were arrested in the state for clashing with police and forcibly enforcing the strike.
There were reports of stray incidents of violence in the Malwa region.
The shutdown was complete in Indore, the state’s largest commercial hub. Shops and commercial establishments were shut and government offices wore a deserted look.
Reports reaching here said that the shutdown paralysed life in rural areas and protesters squatted on railway tracks in the Jabalpur-Itarsi section.
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Tags: alliance government, bharatiya janata party, bjp leader, central government, commercial establishments, commercial hub, educational institutions, food plaza, fuel prices, government offices, gwalior, indore, jabalpur, monsoon session, opposition parties, police headquarters, progressive alliance, railway station, stray incidents, wine shop