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India faces protests over rising fuel prices

/ 06:11 PM September 10, 2018

Congress party supporters shout slogans as they ride on bullock carts during a protest against fuel price hike and other economy issues in Bangalore, India, Monday, September 10, 2018. Several political parties participated in the day long strike led by India’s main opposition Congress party. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

NEW DELHI — Roads were empty, businesses were closed and schools shut down Monday in parts of India, as opposition politicians looking toward elections called for a nationwide strike over rising fuel prices.

While the strike caused barely a ripple in many cities, protesters burned tires in remote Arunachal Pradesh, threw stones at stores that refused to close in the southern state of Karnataka, and stopped buses from running in part of Gujarat. Opposition leaders had called for a complete shutdown, with all businesses, schools and transportation networks closed.

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The opposition, with an eye on national elections next year and key state elections later this year, blamed the rising prices on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Narendra Modi: Down! Down!” demonstrators chanted at a small New Delhi protest.

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Fuel prices are up nearly 15 percent this year in India, largely as a result of the falling value of the Indian rupee.  /kga

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