Price rise protests in New Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) /New Delhi, March 2 (ANI): The dawn-to-dusk shutdown call given by various transport unions in Thiruvananthapuram against the price rise of fuel badly affected general life as it also hit the public transport, whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party activists took to streets in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The call for shutdown given by the Kerala State Run Transport (KSRT) employees association, private bus workers unions and the joint coordination committee of taxi and auto-rickshaw unions left many commuters stranded due to lack of transport.

Private buses, taxies, auto-rickshaws and trucks remained off the roads with just a few private vehicles and two-wheelers plying on road.

Business establishments and educational institutions also remained closed due to the strike.

The strike was also supported by Communist Party of India (Marxist), other Left parties, Bharatiya Janata Party, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and other organisations.

n schools and colleges, examinations scheduled for Tuesday were also cancelled.

"The increase in the prices of the petroleum products due to the increase in the excise duty. It is quite unwanted and it's quite unjustified. So all the burden has fallen on the shoulders of the working people. So that is why we have called for such a strike," said A Sampath, a leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Daily commuters especially office goers had a harrowing time due to lack of transport services.

"Today I had to come to the railway station to get some important documents singed by one of our clients. I had to leave home at 8'o clock in the morning to find a transport to the station. I did not want to take the risk of taking my car because of all those people," said Sherian, a local resident.

The Indian government has announced a hike in excise duty on petrol by one rupee.

During the budget speech of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on February 26, members of all opposition parties walked out of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) on the issue.

Rising inflation, particularly food inflation, has sparked street protests and put political pressure on the Congress-led government to find a solution without hurting economic recovery.

Food prices rose 17.9 percent in the 12 months to January 30, higher than an annual rise of 17.6 percent in the previous week, according to data released on February 11. (ANI)

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