Shutdown cripples life in Chhattisgarh

July 3rd, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Raipur, July 3 (IANS) Life in Chhattisgarh was severely hit Thursday as the shutdown called by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) against the cancellation of land allotment to the Amarnath shrine board in Jammu and Kashmir came into effect. Thousands of bus and train commuters were stranded in various parts the state as baton-wielding supporters of the VHP and BJP enforced the strike from early morning in all the 18 districts. The capital Raipur was the worst hit.

Buses were off the roads, office-goers stayed at home and all schools, petrol pumps and cinema halls were closed fearing violence.

Several long distance trains were stuck at various locations under the South East Central Railway (SECR) region as protesters squatted on railway tracks. The SECR also cancelled a few local trains.

Extra police forces were deployed in Raipur and elsewhere, including the industrial cities of Korba and Bhilai to ward off any untoward incident.

The protests have been prompted by the Jammu and Kashmir government’s move to cancel the allotment of 40 hectares of forest land for the Amarnath board that manages the pilgrimage to the high altitude shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.

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