Left-led 13 party countrywide shutdown begins

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West Bengal/Kerala/Uttar Pradesh/Orissa/Bihar, Apr 27 (ANI): A 12-hour all India shutdown has been called by the Left-led 13 party front demanding immediate control on spiralling prices, roll back in customs duty on crude oil and excise tax on petroleum products.

The parties leading the shutdown are Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India -Marxist (CPI-M), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Samajwadi Party (SP), Biju Janata Dal, Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (RSP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

The shutdown is affecting the normal life in the states of Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Orissa.

Kolkata appears to be the most affected with road, rail and air services coming to a halt. Kingfisher Airlines has stopped its services. No taxis are available at the airport and railway stations as all prepaid booths are closed.

A number of Kolkata-bound trains have been stopped at various places by the protestors.

There are also reports that around eight people have been injured in a clash in Pandua in Hoogly district, when a train coming to Howrah was stopped by CPM supporters at Pandua.

In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party workers stopped the Ganga Gomti Express in Allahabad. Trains have also been stopped in Ghaziabad.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the police have baton-charged the Samajwadi Party workers at Bijnor during the shutdown.

Earlier, two buses were set on fire by the protestors in an area on the outskirts of Lucknow at around 5.30 am.

In Kerala, the streets have worn a deserted look and public and private transport is off the road.

Shops, business establishment, schools and other educational institutions are completely closed in the state.

There are reports of train services being disrupted, but till now there are no reports of air traffic disruption from Kerala.

There is no train or air traffic disruption in Orissa so far. But protesters are planning to stop few major trains and disrupt road traffic at some points.

The protestors are reportedly stopping the work only at Central Government offices; state offices in Orissa are not affected due to the shutdown.

In Bihar, the RJD protestors are reported to have blocked the Mahatma Gandhi Setu bridge that connects Patna to Hajipur.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not a part of this shutdown, but is expected to organize a march to Parliament on the issue. (ANI)

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