Shutdown against fuel price rise near total in Karnataka

Bangalore, July 5 (IANS) The all-India shutdown called by opposition parties to protest the fuel price hike was near total in Karnataka, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with schools, colleges, private offices and commercial establishments shut and state-run buses and private taxis and autos off the roads.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, which runs bus services in the state and to neighbouring states, and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, which services the IT hub, withdrew their buses after several of them were stoned in Bangalore and other parts of the state, Transport Minister R. Ashok told reporters here.

All IT companies, including bellwethers Infosys and Wipro, schools and colleges had Saturday announced that they will be shut Monday.

With taxi and autorickshaw unions extending support to the shutdown, only a few of these vehicles were on the roads, charging exorbitant fares from the commuters.

The state government offices and banks were deserted with no customers and only handful employees. The state government employees association is supporting the shutdown.

Only essential services like milk supply and pharma shops were exempt from the shutdown. But majority of the pharma shops remained closed in most of the areas in Bangalore.

Roads were deserted as only few ventured out as shopping complexes, malls and cinema theatres were also shut.

The 12-hour shutdown ends at 6 p.m.

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