Buses stoned in Thiruvananthapuram shutdown

September 17th, 2011 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 17 (IANS) Fifteen buses were stoned and two drivers injured in a dusk-to-dawn shutdown called by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Thiruvananthapuram district Saturday.

The shutdown was to protest Friday’s police action against irate CPI-M youth activists, who set two government vehicles and a police jeep ablaze in the district over the latest hike in petrol prices.

“We will not tolerate protesters taking law into their hands and, if they do, the government will have to act tough,” Chief Minister Oomen Chandy said but announced that the state government would forgo the icremental tax accruing to it from the petrol price hike.

It means a relief of 70 paise per litre to petrol users in Kerala.

In the previous petrol price hike, after Chandy took over, the Congress-led United Democratic Front state government decided to forgo the tax and the prices came down by Rs.1.22 per litre.

During Friday’s shutdown over petrol price hike, educational institutions remained closed, private buses were off the roads, the state transport operated skeletal services, and office attendances were minimal.

Meanwhile, the Motor Employees Union said that all taxis and autorickshaws would stay off the roads statewide Monday.

This is the first shutdown called by the Left opposition after the Oomen Chandy government took office May 18.

The price of petrol went up by Rs.3.14 per litre to touch Rs.69.54 in Kerala Friday.

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