New Delhi: States ruled by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Left Front shut down on Monday as Opposition parties disrupted transport services and blocked roads during their Bharat Bandh protest against the hike in fuel prices.
According to Agence India Press, senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were arrested in Lucknow while trying to lead a procession towards the main Hazratganj crossing. BJP workers claimed that a number of party activists and leaders were injured when police baton-charged the protestors.
The nation-wide Bharat Bandh called by opposition parties to protest fuel price rise did not seem to have hit normal life in the capital today though BJP workers blocked road, rail and metro services in some areas.
Buses, autos and private vehicles were playing on the streets from the morning, while offices registered more than an average attendance. Operations at the Indira Gandhi International airport were reported normal.
“Delhi Police has taken adequate security measures to ensure law and order during the protest. Policemen are on streets to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. No violence has been reported,” a senior police official said.
BJP workers also tried to stop trains at Shakur Basti and Mundka, although train services at the New Delhi Railway Station are normal.
The Anand Vihar Bus Terminus has also been blocked by protesters.
Flight services are running on schedule at the Indira Gandhi Airport.
BJP leader Vijay Jolly has also been detained along with other protesters from the BRT corridor in South Delhi.
Bandh supporters set afire a DTC low floor bus in a west Delhi locality today, partially damaging it.
No one was injured in the incident.
The incident was reported near Tihar Jail in Janakpuri at around 10.30am. Tyres of 25 other DTC buses were also deflated by those protesting against the fuel price hike. They also blocked the Dabri More area.
“There was a demonstration in the area and the protestors asked the driver to stop. After the passengers got down, the driver was reversing the bus when some activists asked him to get down. Then they set the bus on fire,” an eye witness said.
Only the front portion of the bus was damaged. Before the fire could spread, it was brought under control. Window panes of the bus were also damaged, a senior police official said.
“The situation is under control. Police have been deployed in the area to ensure that law and order is maintained,” a senior police official said.
Besides the BJP, those participating in the bandh are Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, JD-U, CPI-M, CPI, Forward Block, RSP, AIADMK, MDMK TDP, BJD, JD(S), AGP, Akali Dal and INLD to protest against the increase in fuel prices.