Kashmir shuts down over fuel protests

India increased petrol and diesel prices last week by around 10 percent after the cost of fuel subsidies brought state oil companies close to bankruptcy.

Kashmir shuts down over fuel protests

A one day strike to protest against fuel price rises shut shops and banks in Kashmir on Wednesday, coinciding with a protest by transporters demanding they be allowed to raise fares and freight charges.

Protests over fuel price rises have lost steam elsewhere in India as political parties sense grudging acceptance by citizens of the unpopular price hike.

But streets in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, were deserted and schools and colleges were closed in response to Wednesday's strike, called by the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation.



"We express utter dismay over the rise of essential commodities, petrol, diesel and cooking gas, and urge people to observe a complete strike on June 11," the group said in a statement.

India increased petrol and diesel prices last week by around 10 percent after the cost of fuel subsidies brought state oil companies close to bankruptcy.



Wednesday was also the third day of a four-day strike in Kashmir called by the state's transport operators demanding an increase in passenger fares and freight charges.

The government has deployed several hundred buses and other vehicles to offer rides after the strike drove about 75,000 vehicles off roads across the state, but residents say it has not been enough.

Officials in Kashmir said there had been no breakthrough in negotiations with transport operators.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Haziran 2008, 18:05
YORUM EKLE