Shutdown hits normal life in Andhra Pradesh
The nation-wide shutdown called by the opposition to protest hike in diesel price, cap on subsidised LPG cylinders and FDI in retail, evoked near total response in Andhra Pradesh.
Buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads in most parts of the state.
The road transport came to a grinding halt with over four lakh trucks across the state joining the 24-hour strike since midnight.
A section of auto-rickshaw drivers in Hyderabad and other towns too joined the strike.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed in several parts of Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Tirupati, Kurnool, Karimnagar and other towns.
Police arrested scores of opposition workers who were trying to stop buses and forcing shops to down shutters.
In Hyderabad, almost all schools and colleges were closed. The RTC was running few buses while some three-wheelers were also seen plying.
Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), the biggest bus station in the state capital wore a deserted look with RTC suspending bus services from districts. Only a few services were running with police protection.
Activists of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), CPI, CPI-M, BJP and TRS laid siege to APSRTC depots since early Thursday to prevent buses from coming out.
Those arrested include TDP leader and former Hyderabad mayor T. Krishna Reddy, CPI state secretary K. Narayana and CPI-M leader P. Madhu. They were all held while protesting at MGBS.
Osmania University postponed all examinations and admissions to PhD. Other universities have also put off the examinations in view of the shutdown.
The bandh is being observed separately by BJP and TDP. TRS is supporting the shutdown while TDP is working with the left parties.