Another Bharat Bandh; This time, its fuel price

Congress and Left parties have declared Bharat Bandh. The Bandh is in the protest for weakening rupee and rising fuel prices. While the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S), the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Maharshtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) have backed the shutdown, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Biju Janta Dal (BJD), the Shiv Sena and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) have decided to stay away from it. 

The whole Nation is observing difficulties in commuting, working, buying things, etc. These are some of the highlights of the Bandh (till now): 

Left and AAP members arrested in Tirupati, for protesting early. 

A CPI(M) member being arrested in Tirupati during protest against soaring fuel prices, on Monday.

In the temple city of Tirupati, police swooped down on CPI, CPI(M) and AAP members who were protesting early in the day at RTC junction. They were housed at M.R. Palle Police Station.

Party cadre staged a demonstration in front of the police station, citing “police excesses”. 

Kiran Bedi urges people to report incidents of violence in Puducherry and later, Stone Pelting was done by Congress workers

Lt Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi has asked law enforcers to be stern against those disrupting peace.

“Anyone damaging public property during the bandh call today must be dealt with under substantive law, based on evidence recorded from the spot. And cases chargesheeted… People and property must be protected without any favour, whoever it be,” she said in a message.

She also urged people to call 1031 to report any incident of violence.  

Around 100 cadre belonging to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India courted arrest while taking out a rally in support of Bharat bandh.

Around 200 Youth Congress workers court arrest near the New Bus Stand.

Trains, highways blocked in Bihar 

Protesters blocked movement of trains in Bihar at several places such as Jehanabad, Madhubani, Ara and Patna. Highways too have been blocked in some areas.

Schools have been closed for today in Patna in view of the bandh.

Jan Adhikar Party leader and Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav along with his supporters blocked movement of trains at Rajendra Nagar railway station in Patna. 

Meanwhile, in Meghalaya, Congress stays off shutdown 

The Congress in Meghalaya, which had pushed for legal action against shutdowns during its rule five years ago, has abstained from the united opposition’s nationwide Bharat bandh against fuel price hike.

AICC’s Meghalaya in-charge Luzinho Faleiro said the party has not enforced the shutdown in the State in view of the Meghalaya High Court’s ruling against bandhs in 2013. The Gauhati High Court too had given a similar ruling. 

Congress sits on dharna in Rajghat

Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Rajghat on Monday.

Congress kickstarted its protest against fuel price hike and weakening rupee from Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi paid tributes to the father of the nation before the protest. He also offered water collected during his Kailash Manasarovar yatra.

Following this, Congress leaders sat on a dharna at Rajghat. 

In Odisha, Congress adopts ‘Gandhigiri’ 

A Congress member pleads a motorist to take part in the bandh by offering roses in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

Normal life was completely paralysed in Odisha as Congress and other opposition parties observed Bharat Bandh protesting against hike in fuel prices on Monday morning.

Biju Patnaik University of Technology suspended examinations of all professional courses in view of the bandh. Schools and colleges remained closed.

Odisha Congress leaders resorted to ‘Gandhigiri’, a term popularised by Hindi movie series Munna Bhai by offering flowers and requesting general public support the bandh. The Congress also opened a control room to make sure that its cadres don’t take law into their hands. 

Hartal paralyses life in Thiruvananthapuram

Chalai, the busiest market in Thiruvananthapuram, wears a deserted look.

The dawn to dusk hartal called by Congress and Left parties on Monday has paralysed life in the state capital.

Shops and business establishments are closed. Educational institutions are not functioning. Attendance is thin in Secretariat and other government offices.

The State-owned KSRTC and the private stage carriers are not plying while private vehicles are running.

Hundreds who arrived in trains were stranded as taxies and autos are off the road.

The police removed 12 Congress workers who tried to block the Technopark gate. The city police have stepped up security in capital. 

In Bengaluru, protesters arrive in horses, donkeys, bullock carts

The bandh in Bengaluru has seen some innovative protests, with protesters channelling a pre-motorised era to hit out at the Centre for the rise in fuel prices.

JD (S) MLC Sharavana came to the party protest at Town Hall in a horse. Similarly, Vatal Nagaraj, a Kannada activist, marked his protest by riding a donkey in the deserted Kempegowda Bus Stand.

Bullock carts were plenty in the Congress Party’s protest near Mysuru Bank Circle. Protesters also brought along firewood, claiming that it was becoming too expensive for a household to use LPG cylinders to cook. 

Congress, BJP leaders hurt in clashes

Superintendent of Police Laxman Nimbargi resorting to caning to control party workers going out of control during Bharat Bandh in Udupi on Monday.

The Udupi District Administration has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code in Udupi city after the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and other parties turned violent as workers of Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed with one another.

The prohibitory orders are in force from 11 a.m. on September 10 to 6 a.m. on September 11.

Prabhakar Poojary, president of Udupi City Unit of BJP was injured in the clash after a stone hit his head. He was rushed to the District Government Hospital for treatment.

Following this, clashes erupted between Congress and BJP workers. Police resoted to lathicharge. Ramesh Kanchan, Congress councillor in Udupi City Municipal Council was injured during the caning and was admitted to the District Government Hospital. 

Our Opinion

The Bandh has become the latest trend in India. It has now become a way to show power in front of government and the ruling bodies. The reason is not so vague but will it prove to be effective for common people for whom they are ‘fighting for’?

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