5.15pm: Bandh supporters exempted the entrance test of the Super-30 allowing the famed study centre to scan its possible entrants.
“I am thankful that the bandh supporters did not create any trouble at the entrance test centre which shows their sensitivity,” said Anand Kumar founder of the institute which provides free coaching to poor students for IIT-JEE.
Students, including physically challenged ones, from far-flung areas of the state came to appear for the test for the institute which was hailed by the Time magazine, Discovery channel and ‘Monocle’ magazine of the UK.
4.00pm: In Mumbai most of the film studios including Filmcity, Filmistan, Mehboob and Filmalaya either had no bookings for shooting or cancelled their scheduled shoots.
“Due to bandh no shoots for movies or TV serials were scheduled for today. There was no booking also for today,” Vidya Zode, assistant accountant from Filmcity told PTI.
A similar situation was witnessed at Filmistan, Filmalaya and other studios.
3.51pm: In Jammu, normal life was thrown out of gear as public transport remained off roads and offices registered thin attendance.
Shops and business establishments around the city also remained closed amid protests from BJP and other political parties, including CPI(M).
3.33pm: In Meghalaya, tourists were stranded in their hotel rooms as taxis are off the road in most parts of the state.
In Tura and Jowai towns, shops were closed and vehicular traffic was thin.
Meanwhile, there were reports of stone pelting in certain areas along the National Highway connecting Guwahati and Silchar via Shillong, officials said.
Many banking institutions remained closed while government offices were partially affected due to the bandh.
3.20pm: BJP’s Arun Jaitley demands rollback in the petrol price hike, blaming government for policy paralysis and the shocking GDP growth numbers.
3.10pm: In Uttarakhand, three BJP MLAs cycled their way to the Assembly to register their protest against spiralling prices of essential commodities.
Banshidhar Bhagat (Kaldhungi), Arvind Pandey (Gadarpur) and Sahdev Pundir (Sahaspur) reached the Assembly in the morning.
“We are registering our protest as the prices of all commodities are sky-rocketing. How can a poor man survive in
2.50pm: In Chandigarh, rail traffic was disrupted as BJP activists held a demonstration close to the Chandigarh railway station causing detention of a few trains, including the New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Himalayan Queen and the New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabdi Express.
Commercial establishments including shops, markets at most of the places in Punjab including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Batala, Kapurthala, Mohali, Pathankot and Amritsar remained closed, though factories and other industrial units were operational.
However, emergency services, including hospitals and chemist shops remained open.
Road transport was also hit due to the bandh, with majority of buses, including private ones, remaining off the road in Punjab, causing inconveniences to people.
Truckers, fearing damage to their vehicles, also did not ply in the wake of the bandh call.
2.45pm: In Bangalore, as many as 15 buses were damaged in stone pelting and two buses set on fire in some parts of BJP-ruled Karnataka as the bandh called by NDA and Left parties to protest the petrol price hike disrupted normal life in the state today.
Business establishments remained closed and schools and colleges declared a holiday. Buses, autorickshaws and taxis remained off the roads in several parts of the state.
2.40pm: In Kolkata shops and other establishments were open in most places, but remained closed in certain areas in the state including at Barabazar, the largest wholesale goods hub in eastern India, where BJP has a good presence.
The Kolkata Police arrested 35 bandh supporters from different parts of the metropolis for vandalising vehicles and blocking roads.
A few buses and some other vehicles were damaged at Barasat, an important junction connecting the city to north Bengal and Bangladesh, in the morning by bandh enforcers.
2.30pm: 1,722 people across Maharashtra have been detained by police for creating disturbance. At least 15 separate incidents of violence reported from Mumbai and 57 buses have been reportedly damaged.
Banks in the city witnessed thin business in the nation’s financial capital today following the nationwide bandh called by NDA and Left parties against the steep hike in petrol prices last week.
While branches were open as the city transport system was not impacted by the strike, the banking district in the city’s southern periphery witnessed low business because there was a near-total compliance to the bandh call by traders and other commercial establishments.
1.25pm: In Punjab, commercial establishments, including shops and markets, at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Batala, Kapurthala, Pathankot and Amritsar remained closed, though factories and other industrial units were operational.
However, chemist shops and medical services providers were open.
Reports from Chandigarh said that several BJP activists held a protest close to the tracks of Chandigarh railway station following which the New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Himalayan Queen was stopped just before the railway station leaving a number of people stranded.
Another train running between Bhiwani and Kalka also got held up due to the protest.
The bandh also hit road transport network with buses, including private, remaining off the road, in various districts including Patiala, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Kapurthala. Majority of truckers were also not plying their vehicles.
Shopkeepers in Phagwara were forced by protesters belonging to SAD and BJP to shut down the shutters of their shops.
Workers of SAD and BJP were also seen persuading the shopkeepers and owners of other commercial establishments to shut down their shops in order to make the bandh successful.
BJP and SAD workers held protest rallies at various locations in Punjab.
1.20pm: Normal life in Tripura was disrupted with schools and colleges, financial institutions and banks remaining closed. Government offices reported very thin attendance, while vehicular traffic was off the roads. However, police said that the bandh was peaceful.
1.15 pm: In Arunachal Pradesh, all business establishments, educational institutions, central government offices and banking institutions remained closed while attendances in state government offices remained thin, official sources said.
Streets of Itanagar wore a deserted look with all commercial, public and private vehicles remaining off the road. However, state transport buses were seen plying with escorts.
The bandh enforcers, however, exempted students who are appearing in the joint engineering and medical entrance examinations being conducted today.
12.55pm: The Bharat Bandh has brought Bihar to a virtual standstill.
“Protestors blocked railway tracks in Patna, Gaya, Darbhanga, Hajipur and Bhagalpur, disrupting train services. The strikers have been forcibly stopping trains at various railway stations since morning,” a railway official said. Protestors are burning tyres on the train tracks.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at scores of railway stations, bus stations and taxi stands from morning. Police said that more than 1,000 workers and leaders of the NDA and Left parties have been arrested since the shutdown came into effect.
Senior Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav was arrested in Saharsa district along with JD-U MP from Khagaria parliamentary constituency Dinesh Chandra Yadav, while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shahnawaz Hussain was arrested in Bhagalpur where he was leading protestors.
According to police, over a dozen legislators of the JD-U and BJP have been arrested.
Meanwhile protestors damaged a number of vehicles in state capital Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga to enforce the shutdown, a police official said.
A group of ruling NDA activists also ransacked the Mairwa railway station in Siwan district. At Patna’s busy Dak Bungalow crossing, JD-U and CPI-ML workers clashed over burning of an effigy of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Bihar’s main Opposition, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and its alliance partner Lok Janshakti Party, did not join the shutdown.
12.08am: With the Bharat Bandh shutting down most public transport services such as autorickshaws, taxis and buses in Mumbai and Delhi, train services are ensuring that commuters in these cities are not completely stranded. However in Delhi, as the metro was the only option available to commuters, the trains and stations were jam packed.
At the Rajiv Chowk Metro station, there was a near-stampede like situation. The Metro was also running slow,” said a Delhi commuter traveling to Gurgaon from Rajiv Chowk, to IANS.
In Mumbai local trains are also crowded, but commuters are facing problems commuting from stations to their offices and homes.
11.51am: Left leaders supporting the Bharat Bandh in the national capital have been taken into police custody, and are being held at the Daryaganj police station.
Meanwhile BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was also arrested in Delhi earlier. Naqvi courted arrest, as he was leading a party rally, attempting to block one of the main roads in the national capital. The BJP has said it will force Delhi into a complete shutdown, and have announced plans of starting a ‘Chakka Dam’ in East Delhi.
“The very fact that this shutdown is being followed on such a large scale all over India shows that the common man won’t tolerate price hikes and is frustrated by the government’s current scheme of things,” said Naqvi.
“People are with the BJP and we will try our best to support the common man’s initiative,” Naqvi, protesting with party workers at the Akshardham flyover”, he added.
With several autorickshaw unions joining the bandh, nearly 55,000 autos and 15,000 taxis are expected to stay off the roads in Delhi. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have also threatened to block 100 intersections in the capital as part of the shutdown.
Protesting will be tiring work however, given the fact that the minimum temperature in the national capital will be 31.3 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal, and the weather office forecasting a maximum of about 45 degrees Celsius.
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