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Left-backed shutdown cripples life in Tripura

By The Assam Tribune

Agartala, June 27 (IANS): Shops, offices and educational institutions were shut while vehicular traffic remained off the roads in Tripura on Monday as the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front called a 12-hour shutdown to protest last week's fuel-price hike.

"The strike was total, spontaneous and successful with people expressing their anger against the central government's decision to increase prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas," Left Front spokesman and senior CPI-M leader Gautam Das said. "We urge the people to be ready for a bigger struggle against the anti-people decisions of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government," he added.

Rail services between Tripura and the rest of the country were disrupted while bus services between Tripura and Bangladesh and other northeastern States were also hit. However, air services on the Agartala-Kolkata and Agartala-Guwahati routes were normal.

"The 12-hour shut down remained peaceful. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state," a police spokesman told IANS.

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

"At a time when people across the country are burdened with increasing prices of essential goods and inflation has remained unchecked, the UPA government has increased fuel prices to further deepen people's misery," Das said.

Several educational institutions, including the Tripura (Central) University, postponed their examinations in view of the strike.

The central government Friday increased the price of diesel by Rs 3 per litre, kerosene by Rs 2 a litre and cooking gas by Rs 50 per cylinder.

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