Goa Bandh leaves tourists, office-goers stranded

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Panaji, Oct 20 (UNI) Tourists and office-goers here faced severe hardships as vehicles, barring the state transport, stayed off the roads following the state-wide ''bandh'' call given by Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti to protest the recent vandalisation of temples in the state.

Except state-owned Kadamba Transport Corporation buses and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses, all other private transport, including buses, mini buses, taxies and auto rickshaws were off the road, worst hitting the tourists, who arrived in the state this morning, as they were left stranded at various bus stands.

According to police, 12 people were arrested from Mapusa in North Goa for pelting stone at the Kadamba buses. Earlier, some people in the interior villages tried to block the road by cutting the trees on both the sides of the road, but police patrolling teams cleared all the hurdles on the road, South Goa collector G P Naik told UNI.

He said except such stray incidents of road blocking the situation was under control.

Goans also faced shortage of essential item like milk, as the milk vans from local dairies and neighbouring Karnataka were unable to reach the outlets. Shops, restaurants and other establishments also remained shut down, both in South Goa and North Goa. Meanwhile, the administration has imposed section 144 of CrPc, which prohibits processions, demonstrations, ''Bandh'', strikes, ''Rasta Roko'', forcible closure of shops, establishment and market and holding public meeting, in the state.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to thwart the ''Bandh'', police said. Companies of the CISF and India Reserve Battalion besides the state police force have been deployed across the state.

As Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) had cancelled many of its tours following the ''Bandh'' call, several tourists preferred to stay in hotel rooms.

UNI SRN RN AE HT1350

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