Several opposition leaders, activists detained across the country

In Hyderabad Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu and leaders of Left parties were arrested while holding protests against price hike here Monday. Naidu was taken into custody along with several TDP leaders and activists when they staged a road block in the busy Ameerpet area.

Tension prevailed as Naidu’s supporters tried to resist his arrest for sometime. The protest caused a huge traffic jam in one of the main commercial areas in the city. Holding TDP flags and raising anti-government slogans, the protesters squatted on the road, demanding an immediate rollback of the hike in petroleum prices.

Naidu later told reporters that the nationwide shutdown called by the opposition was a "grand success" as all sections of people were taking part in it voluntarily.

The other main protest in the city was held at the Road Transport Corp (RTC) crossroads where the Left parties staged a road blockade. Police arrested Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary K. Narayana and Communist Party of India-Marxisr (CPI-M) leader B.V. Raghavulu apart from others.

Police kept Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president G. Kishan Reddy under house arrest to prevent him from participating in the protests. Kishan Reddy termed the police action "undemocratic".

Senior BJP leader and MP Gopinath Munde and BJP state unit president Sudhir Mungantiwar were detained from suburban Andheri, Mumbai, for staging a road blockade, police said.

Hundreds of BJP activists have also been detained with them by the police. Reacting on the bandh, Munde said, "the Congress-led Union Government promised to bring down the inflation in 100 days but nothing happened. We want these intense feelings of the people against inflation should reach to the Centre through the Bandh."

Asked about vandalisation of properties in many parts of the state, Munde said the Government is solely responsible for that. The situation of calling a bandh has arised due to the Government, he added.

Meanwhile, several Sena activists were detained near Sena Bhavan in Dadar for staging a protest.

BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Lalji Tandon were among a number of activists arrested on Monday in Lucknow while they were taking out a procession in support of the nation-wide bandh called by the party to protest fuel price hike.
Police baton-charged protestors when they tried to march towards main Hazratganj crossing this morning.

"A number of party workers and leaders were injured in the lathicharge," BJP leaders claimed. In a bid to prevent BJP workers from marching towards the main market and Vidhan Bhawan, the entire area was barricaded and cordoned off by the police.

Tight security arrangements have been made across Uttar Pradesh in view of the bandh called by the opposition parties. Three hundred PAC personnel have been deployed in various districts of the state to maintain law and order during the bandh and to avoid any untoward incident, a senior officer said here.

In Lucknow, around 30 people associated with various political parties, including SP, have been taken into preventive custody.

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