Chandigarh: Normal life was affected in Punjab due to the bandh called by NDA and Left parties to protest the steep hike in petrol prices.
Commercial establishments, including shops and markets, at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Batala, Kapurthala, Pathankot and Amritsar remained closed, though factories and other industrial units were operational.
However, chemist shops and medical services providers were open. Reports from Chandigarh said that several BJP activists held a protest close to the tracks of Chandigarh railway station following which the New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Himalayan Queen was stopped just before the railway station leaving a number of people stranded.
With the Ambala-Chandigarh rail link being single line and Himalayan Queen not being allowed to proceed in view of the protest, the authorities halted the New Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka Shatabdi Express near Lalru, about 30 km from here.
Another train running between Bhiwani and Kalka also got held up due to the protest. Paschim Express, headed for Mumbai, which was scheduled to leave from Chandigarh at 11:15 AM, was also halted at Chandigarh station for the time being in view of the protest.
The Bandh also hit road transport network with buses, including private, remaining off the road, in various districts including Patiala, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Kapurthala. Majority of truckers were also not plying their vehicles in the wake of the bandh call, reports said.
Shopkeepers in Phagwara were forced by protesters belonging to SAD and BJP to shut down the shutters of their shops. Workers of SAD and BJP were also seen persuading the shopkeepers and owners of other commercial establishments to shut down their shops in order to make the bandh successful.
However, no reports of untoward incidents has been received so far from any part of the state. BJP and SAD workers held protest rallies at various locations in Punjab to express their anger against the steep hike made in petrol prices by the Centre.


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