Mulayam, Left leaders court arrest in Delhi
Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and several Left leaders on Thursday courted arrest in New Delhi as they protested against the centre's FDI policy, LPG subsidy reduction and hike in diesel price.
Several Left leaders like Prakash Karat, AB Bardhan and Sitaram Yechury courted arrest in the national capital.
According to reports, Telugu Desham Party supremo Chandrababu Naidu also courted arrest in New Delhi.
Mulayam had held a separate protest New Delhi's Jantar Mantar in order to avoid sharing state with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
Addressing a gathering, Mulayam slammed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and said it is taking 'anti-people' stand.
Pertinently, the bandh supporters from parties like the BJP protested at Jantar Mantar while 82,000 policemen were deployed to maintain law and order.
At Jantar Mantar BJP president Nitin Gadkari addressed a gathering and slammed the UPA and its policies.
Several top BJP leaders were detained in different parts of the country as they demonstrated as part of the nationwide strike on Thursday.
According to reports, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu was detained in Hyderabad.
Former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa and senior party leader Ananth Kumar courted arrest in Bangalore.
BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde was detained in Mumbai on Thursday.
According to reports, BJP leaders like CP Thakur and Ravi Shankar Prasad were detained in Bihar's capital Patna.
"Today we have hit the streets to protest against the Centre's policy," Prasad told reporters.
Several other opposition leaders were also detained by the police in Patna.
A nationwide strike on Thursday called by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and other Left and non-Congress parties to protest the centre's FDI policy, LPG subsidy reduction and hike in diesel price disrupted life in India, especially in non-Congress states, while West Bengal witnessed sporadic violence during the agitation.
Protesters took to streets across India as train services were hit badly from blockades while few public transport was seen on the streets in most states and their capital cities.
Shops, schools and office establishments were closed in many states.
The bandh was more forceful in BJP ruled states like Gujarat and Karnataka.
Life was hit in West Bengal owing to a 12-hour shutdown called by the Left parties like the CPI-M while the BJP supporters hit the streets as well and even clashed with the ruling Trinamool Congress activists.
Violence broke out in parts of West Bengal with unsavoury incidents reported from Cooch Behar.
In Cooch Behar in north Bengal, alleged Trinamool Congress supporters were caught on TV footage beating up supporters, including women activists, of SUCI (Socialist Unity Centre of India), a communist party outside the Left Front group.
A red flag waving SUCI activist trying to stop a bus from plying in Cooch Behar town was seen being assaulted and removed from the road by men waving Trinamool party flags who cleared the road for the vehicles.
BJP alleged that their supporters were attacked by the Trinamool Congress in Howrah.
In Karnataka capital Bangalore, the IT industry suffered owing to the strike. There were few buses on the streets in the BJP ruled state's capital.
India's financial hub Mumbai, life was however not much hit. Owing to Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the opposition parties like the Sena groups and BJP did not disrupt life.
In Chennai, the ruling AIADMK did not participate in the strike and so life was not much affected.
DMK, an ally of UPA, however supported the strike in Tamil Nadu.