Bandh hits life in Punjab, partial in Haryana

Shops and commercial establishments remained shut in Punjab even as activists of BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Left parties disrupted rail traffic for around ten minutes at Jalandhar and Barnala, officials said here.

Swaran Shatabdi was stopped at a village near Jalandhar by SAD activists for around ten minutes, officials said, adding that a passenger train was also stopped at Barnala.
Several activists of SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab and Left squatted on rail tracks in Bathinda district.

Barring normal rail and road traffic movement, the Bharat Bandh evoked a near total response in Punjab.

"The bandh in Punjab is total and it is peaceful," SAD spokesman Daljeet Singh Cheema said here.

Most of the private buses and private-aided schools and institutions remained closed. Attendance in government schools and colleges was also very low.

However, emergency services like doctors, clinics and chemists shops functioned normally in Punjab and Haryana.

At most of the places, banks also remained opened in both the states. State-owned bus services were plying in both the states, sources said here.

The functioning in the government offices in the two states was normal, officials said, adding adequate security forces were deployed to ensure peace and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the two states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Reports of near total bandh have been received from Phagwara, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Fardikot, Patiala and Moga in Punjab.

In the neighbouring Haryana, where Congress is in power, the bandh is being supported by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), CPI and CPI (M), besides the BJP.

The activists of BJP, INLD and Left parties asked the shopkeepers to close their establishments and raised anti-UPA slogans.

The bandh response in Haryana is mixed with only a few shops being open. While, near total bandh was observed in Hisar, Sonepat, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Yamuna Nagar. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state.

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