Shutdown cripples normal life in UP

September 20th, 2012 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Sep 20 (IANS) Normal life was crippled across the state Thursday in response to the shutdown call given by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) to oppose the diesel price hike, cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders and allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

Hundreds of workers of both the parties took to the streets, raised anti-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) slogans and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Rail traffic in most important sections of the state were disrupted by BJP as well as Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers.

Railway officials told IANS that schedules of more than a dozen trains have been hit by disruptions on the tracks. In Mathura, workers of both the parties blocked railway lines disrupting the all important Delhi-Mumbai route.

In Kanpur, SP workers stopped the Swarna Jayanti Express, in Ballia the Utsarg Express was stopped by BJP workers and in Bhadohi, Archana Express was stopped.

Supporters of SP climbed atop the engine of the Kisan Express and the Sabarmati Express in Jaunpur.

While the state transport buses and city transport in most cities have been spared, the auto rickshaws and other private transport have so far stayed away from the roads.

Most schools and colleges have been closed in many parts of the state, including the state capital, as a precautionary measure by their management.

SP workers locked Walmart shops in Lucknow and raised anti-FDI slogans seeking a roll back by the Congress-led UPA government.

While no notable SP leader is participating in the party’s protest in the state, senior national and state BJP leaders are leading demonstrations in parts of the state.

Former national president of the BJP, Rajnath Singh, is leading the protests in Lucknow, national vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Kanpur and the state president Laxmikant Bajpayi in Meerut.

Reports of widespread protests have also come in from Varanasi, Bareilly, Faizabad, Gorakhpur and Allahabad. No trucks are plying in the state and medicine shops have also downed shutters in support of the bandh.

A posse of police personnel have been pressed into service across the state to maintain peace, law and order.

So far, there have been no reports of violence.

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