Bharat Bandh: Normal life affected in Puducherry

Puducherry: The Congress' Bharat bandh to protest skyrocketing fuel prices affected normal life in Puducherry on Monday with many people stranded at bus stands as public vehicles remained off roads, while stones were thrown at Tamilnadu government-owned express bus and a private college vehicle.

All private inter-state and intra-state buses remained off roads. Retail petrol and diesel outlets, all shops and commercial establishments remained closed in the Union territory while police personnel were deployed in strength at various points.

According to police no one was injured in the attack on the vehicles and 13 people were held in connection with the incidents at two different places. The Rajiv Gandhi Municipal bus terminal here wore a deserted look with all buses remaining off roads.

More than 300 people belonging to different political parties, including the youth wing of the ruling Congress, were taken into custody when they attempted to stage a dharna at the bus terminal and also at some central government offices, a senior police official told PTI.

All privately managed schools and colleges declared a holiday today in view of the bandh. However, banks functioned normally and attendance in government offices was also normal, official sources said.

Meanwhile, in a WhatsApp message to reporters and officials on Monday, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi said she had directed police to ensure that "anyone damaging public property during the bandh are dealt with under substantive law based on evidence recorded from the spot and cases chargesheeted."

Bedi also asked the people to dial 1031 in the event of any incident of violence. The former IPS officer also said, "Law and order should be maintained and people and property must be protected without any favour whoever it be." She also told the police that the rule of law must be upheld.


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