Normal life disrupted in Left-ruled states over fuel price hike

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Kolkata/ Thiruvananthapuram/ Agartala, June 5 : Normal life was disrupted in Tripura, West Bengal and Kerala due to shutdown calls against the fuel price hike.

Shops, educational institutions and offices remained closed, while attendance in government offices was thin.

In Kolkata, rail and air services were suspended over fears of violence. Private vehicles also remained off the roads.

Residents said that they understood the logic behind the fuel price hike, but warned that it would badly hit the middle class.

Souvik Ganguly, a resident, said political parties were trying to derive their own political mileage from the situation.

In Thiruvananthapuram, shops and business establishments were closed in support of the shutdown call.

"We will have to realize that the price rise is international, not only in India or Kerala, said C.V.John, a Thiruvananthapuram resident.

Tourists said they were surprised over their holiday plans going into disarray owing to the shutdown call.

"I am really surprised because I didn't know anything. Just woke up this morning and everything is closed," said Stephen, a Swiss tourist.

The Central Government on Wednesday upped the price of petrol by Rs 5 a litre and that of diesel by Rs 3 a litre. The price of a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was increased by Rs 50 a cylinder.

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