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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Karnataka Bandh October 4th 2006

In a freak incident, two trains collided in Allahabad today, severely affecting rail traffic on Delhi-Howrah trunk route. There are however, no reports of any casualties.
The accident occured near the Allahabad railway station when Mughalsarai Express and Chauri-Chaura Express collided head on.

The collision derailed at least three coaches of Chauri-Chaura Express.
While senior officials rushed to the spot, there were little chances of the railway tracks being cleared in the next eight hours.

Meanwhile, trains including Kalka Mail, Lal Quila Express and Sealdah Mail were being diverted, railway sources said.Bangalore, Oct 4 (UNI) Barring minor incidents of stone pelting in the sensitive Belgaum city and Bangalore, the Karnataka bandh called by pro-Kannada organisations to protest the ''step motherly'' treatment meted out by Centre on the Belgaum border row with Maharashtra, passed off peacefully, today.
Life came to a standstill in most of the districts as the bandh call, supported by nearly 800 organisations, met with overwhelming response.

Buses, autorickshaws and other public transport vehicles were off the roads in most parts of the State, except Mangalore, Udupi and Chitradurga districts where the bandh evoked partial response. Though Central and State Government offices remained open, attendence was thin due to non-availability of public transport.

Some branches of the nationalised banks were open, however, customers failed to turn up.
Police detained more than 600 people in different parts of the State, who stopped several trains for some time and took out processions shouting slogans against the Union and Maharashtra Governments and leaders like Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Despite this, train services remained normal, railway officials said.

Air services remained unaffected in the State, ATC officials said.
Legislator and Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, who led the joint action committee which had called the bandh, said the bandh was a grand success and the pro-Kannada organisations have succeeded in sending a strong signal to the Centre, which was ''biased against the State'', and the Maharashtra Government, which repeatedly raked up the issue. ''The Belgaum issue has been settled four decades ago once for all. The Mahajan Committee report, which said the border city is part of Karnataka, is final and the Centre should not waste any more time, but implement it immediately,'' he said.

Director General of Police B S Sial said barring minor incidents of stone throwing, there were no incidents of violence in the entire State. Detained pro-Kannada activists were let off in the evening.


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