Ruling Marxists call strike against fuel hike in Tripura


Agartala : A dawn-to-dusk strike called by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front to protest against the hike in fuel prices Monday brought life to a halt in Tripura.

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“The strike was total with people expressing their anger against the central government’s decision to increase prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas,” CPI-M central committee member Bijon Dhar told reporters here.

Most markets, shops and business establishments, government and semi-government offices, educational institutions, banks and financial institutions were shut in the state. Roads were deserted and rail services between Tripura and the rest of the country were disrupted.

However, air services on the Agartala-Kolkata and Agartala-Guwahati routes were normal, an Agartala airport official told IANS.

“The 12-hour shutdown remained peaceful. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state,” police spokesman Nepal Das told IANS.

Buses between Tripura and Bangladesh and other northeastern states were hit.

The India-Bangladesh trade was also badly hit as “hundreds of trucks were stranded on the other sides of the Akhaurah checkpost near here due to the shutdown”, a customs official here said.

Left leader Dhar, also the state secretary of the CPI-M, said: “At a time when people across the country are burdened with increasing prices of essential goods and inflation has remained unchecked, the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has increased the fuel price to further deepen people’s misery.”

The central government Friday increased the price of petrol by Rs.3.50 per litre, diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.