Protests against price hike in Andhra, shutdown Friday

June 5th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 5 (IANS) For the second consecutive day protests against the steep hike in petroleum prices continued across Andhra Pradesh even as the opposition parties called for a state-wide shutdown Friday. The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and trade unions staged protests in the state capital and other major towns.

Staging sit-in on roads and holding novel protests with bullock carts, the leaders and activists of these parties raised slogans condemning the central government for burdening the common people.

TDP, CPI and CPI-M have given a call for a state-wide shutdown Friday while the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has urged people to observe the strike in Telangana region.

BJP also announced that it would block trains Friday to protest the price hike.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu pedalled a cycle rickshaw during a protest in coastal Andhra. He appealed to the people to make Friday’s shutdown a success.

Naidu, who is currently on a state-wide ‘yatra’ (tour), told a news conference at Bheemavaram in West Godavari district that both the central and the state government had burdened the people. The former chief minister said the sales tax on petroleum products in the state was the highest in the country.

TDP activists staged a sit-in in front of Secunderabad railway station here leading to tension. As the protest led to a traffic jam, the police arrested TDP legislator T. Srinivas Yadav. This led to a scuffle between the police and the protestors.

BJP leaders and activists staged a novel protest in the state capital. A four-wheeler was pulled by a bullock cart while women cooked on wood fire on the road to protest the price hike. Similar protests were also held in Karimnagar.

TRS women activists staged a protest in Karimnagar and stopped a truck carrying gas cylinders. The police arrested about 50 protestors.

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