Thursday, May 31, 2012

Karnataka shuts down to protest petrol price hike

Bangalore, May 31 (IANS) The shutdown against the petrol price hike Thursday paralysed life across Karnataka, as state-run and private buses remained off the roads, shops and hotels were closed, and schools and colleges declared a day's holiday.

"Barring stray incidents of stone-pelting at buses and fracas over forcible closure of shops in Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore and Hubli, the law and order is being maintained across the state under strict vigil with deployment of additional forces," a senior police official told IANS here.

In the absence of public transport and taxis in Bangalore, attendance in offices was reported to be about 50 percent though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government did not declare an official holiday for Thursday.

People had a tough time in buying groceries and vegetables as supplies did not reach markets and department stores remained shuttered.

Supply of milk was, however, not affected as it was exempted from the shutdown. Medical shops also remained open.

Though the state-run Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) assured the public that its buses would ply normally despite shutdown, these were withdrawn after a dozen vehicles were attacked by miscreants in some parts of the city.

Train services and flight services, however, remained unaffected.

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