Bandh hits city softly

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The call for Bharat Bandh, given by the NDA and supported by different associations, had a partial effect in the city on Thursday. In some sectors, shopkeepers closed their shops for some time while in others there was a mixed response, with shopkeepers partially downing their shutters to avoid getting into confrontation with the protesters.

The Bharatiya Janata Party took out a procession from Sector 26. Led by Anurag Thakur, national president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the procession passed through different markets in sectors 29, 27, 19, 18, 17 and 22, where traffic snarls were witnessed. The shopkeepers in these areas closed their shops as the cavalcade approached.

Accusing the Congress-led UPA government of making new records of corruption, Thakur said the head of the government was himself involved in coalgate. "The government can collapse at any time as the allies have already started leaving the UPA," he added.

Party state president Sanjay Tandon, former union minister Harmohan Dhawan and former MP Satya Pal Jain said every section of society, including traders, businessmen, shopkeepers, industrialists as well as the common man, was suffering due to anti-people policies of the UPA.

While the call for the bandh — given against the Centre's decisions on allowing FDI in retail, hiking diesel price and putting a cap on subsidised LPG cylinders — was till 2 pm, shopkeepers at different markets had opened their shops much before that.

Heavy security arrangements were made outside the markets, with barricades put up on the route the BJP cavalcade had to use. Minor altercations were witnessed in some sectors when the BJP workers tried to get shops closed. However, cops dispersed the protesters, asking them not to move in the corridors of the markets.

Security was specially heightened at Sector 17 plaza where a section of shopkeepers had decided not to support the bandh. In fact, stores of branded items at most of the places were open.

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