Supporters of two prominent political parties went on the rampage, breaking car windows and halting public transport, protesting against the bombing of a bus in the city outskirts that killed two people and wounded 47 others on Monday.
The protestors blame the government for a lack of control of law and order, which they believe led to this latest bomb blast.
The political activists took over the streets in response to a call for a day-long strike given by Shiv Sena and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I saw groups of Shiv Sainiks stopping cars and asking people to go back home. They deflated some car tyres also,” said a harassed local resident.
Shiv Sena, the principal opposition party in the province, had called for the strike together with the BJP to highlight the state government’s inability to prevent intermittent bombings in the city of nearly 13 million people.
‘I saw groups of Shiv Sainiks stopping cars and asking people to go back home. They deflated some car tyres also’
– Local Resident
At other places across the city, the protesting activists broke car windows and forcibly disrupted public transport.
With chaos ruling the streets, banks and offices reported thin attendance. Traders said clearing operations by the central bank were likely to be hit because of lack of staff.
Volumes on the currency and bonds markets were thin, dealers said.
Police have blamed the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba for Monday’s bomb explosion in the bus.
It was the fifth blast in the city in the past six months, prompting a sizeable majority of the local residents to blame the provincial government for the increasing lawlessness.