Guwahati, May 31 (IANS) The 12-hour shutdown called by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties drew a wide response in Assam Thursday.
Almost all opposition parties in Assam, including the Left and other regional political parties, supported the shutdown against the recent steep hike in petrol prices and the overall price rise of essential commodities.
Over 200 activists and supporters of Assam's main regional party Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) were detained by the civil administration across the state for holding protests and blocking the national and state highways.
Almost all the national and state highways across the state were deserted as vehicular traffic remained off the road during the 12 hours of the strike.
While the government offices recorded thin attendances, almost all the business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed.
Leaders of the Left parties blocked the railway lines at many places particularly in lower Assam districts, which caused delays in departures and running of some trains.
The railway tracks were later cleared by district administration, which also detained the activists of the political parties.
"Some of the trains, which were scheduled to leave Guwahati on Thursday morning, were delayed as the supporters of the bandh blocked the railway lines at some places," a spokesman of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) told IANS.
"Some of the outbound trains were running behind schedule. Similarly, some of the Guwahati-bound trains are likely to arrive late as they had to be halted at various stations due to the bandh," the spokesman said.
"The UPA government at the centre should learn a lesson out of the shutdown today (Thursday). They should not consider it as a normal shutdown called by political opponents. The total response to the bandh and support of the common people is the expression of anger and frustration of those who are affected by price rise of essential commodities," said AGP leader Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjyya.
"The common people are harassed and victimized by the anti-people policies of the Congress-led governments at the centre and at Dispur. This is the reason why people have supported the bandh on their own. It's better if the Congress takes it as a lesson rather than a protest by political opponents," he added.