Shimla: Most of the banks and commercial establishments in Himachal Pradesh remained open on Monday amid the ongoing protest call by the Congress over the rise in fuel prices. Police officials said that no report of traffic being held up was reported due to the strike.

Further, no violence was reported from any part of the state. However, private bus operators across the state joined the day-long protest, demanding a hike in bus fares.

“The protest is being organized across the state in a silent way without forcing anyone to shut their shops and establishments,” a Congress leader told IANS.

The impact of the Congress shutdown was more in the state capital Shimla and in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial area in Solan district and Kala Amb in Sirmaur. There was a partial shutdown in Solan, Dharamsala, Kangra, Palampur, Mandi, Rampur, Kullu and Una and Hamirpur towns.

Bharat Bandh

The Congress-led Opposition has called for a Bharat bandh on Monday to protest against the rising fuel price and the falling value of the rupee against the US dollar. The bandh would be observed across the country between 9 am and 3 pm as the Congress party ‘does not want to cause inconvenience to the common masses’.

20 Opposition parties including Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), DMK, Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) backed the shutdown, the Left has also declared a nationwide hartal.

Following the shutdown, schools and colleges across Bengaluru and Odisha will remain shut as transport services may not be available between 9 AM and 3 PM. All the schools which will be closed today will have a full-day class on September 15. Meanwhile, exams scheduled for September 10 are likely to be postponed due to Bharat Bandh.