The nationwide bandh called by the NDA and the Left parties to protest against the hike in petrol prices crippled Delhi on Thursday morning. Commuters were stranded with demonstrators blocking several busy roads in the morning. Autorickshaws kept off the roads and Metro trains witnessed a huge rush.
Though major markets in Chandni Chowk,Sadar Bazar,Laxmi Nagar,Lajpat Nagar,Sarojini Nagar,Defence Colony,Khan Market and Connaught Place remained closed during the day,most of them were back to business by evening.
In many areas,demonstrators stopped vehicles and pelted stones at DTC buses. Many passengers were made to get down from buses and walk in the scorching heat looking for autos,which were very difficult to find.
Metro stations in certain areas were forcefully shut down by the BJP workers for some time. Protestors sealed gate number 5 of the Chandni Chowk station and prevented passengers from entering. Railway stations at Tughlaqabad,Mundka and Azadpur also witnessed protests.
BJP workers led by Sanjay Joshi and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi led the protest in Delhi near Akshardham temple. BJP leaders Ananth Kumar and Vijay Goel courted arrest during their protest in Chandni Chowk along with Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta.
The bandh shows the public anger against this government. This will be the last nail in its coffin, BJP National Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
The BJP MLAs also created a ruckus in the Assembly,prompting the Speaker to order their removal and suspension from the House for three days. Vijender Gupta said the party got a huge response from traders and residents and claimed the bandh was a success.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,however,dubbed the bandh as a total failure.
Left leaders Prakash Karat,A B Bardhan,Sitaram Yechury and D Raja also courted arrest near Delhi Gate.
Traffic was thrown out of gear in the morning but returned to normal later in the day. The demonstrators were not permitted to block the road for more than 15 minutes. We also made certain diversions on stretches where there was heavy traffic, JCP (Traffic) Satyendra Garg told Newsline.
A total of 813 people were detained across the city,according to Delhi Police. All of them were released in the evening.