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Strike in India brings many busy regions to a halt

Bikas Das / AP

A man crosses a deserted road during a strike in Kolkata, India, on Sept. 20. Angry opposition supporters disrupted trains in India on Thursday but had only limited success in enforcing a national strike to protest a government decision to cut fuel subsidies and open the country's huge retail market to foreign companies.

Pawan Kumar / Reuters

State-run passenger buses rest inside a depot after demonstrators attacked the vehicles during a nationwide strike in the northern Indian city of Lucknow on Sept. 20.

Manish Swarup / AP

Indians walk past closed shops during a nationwide strike in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 20.

Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters

A man stands in front of closed shops during a nationwide strike in Kolkata on Sept. 20. Schools, shops and government offices were shut in some Indian states on Thursday as protesters blocked road and rail traffic as part of a one-day nationwide strike against sweeping economic reforms announced by the government last week.

Diptendu Dutta / AFP - Getty Images

An Indian rickshaw puller, sitting beside a row of parked rickshaws, smokes a leaf cigarette during a general nationwide strike in Siliguri on Sept. 20.

Bikas Das / AP

Drivers rest on parked taxis during a strike in Kolkata, India on Sept. 20.

Angry demonstrators throughout India disrupted trains Thursday and forced some shops and schools to close in a partly successful national strike protesting a government decision to cut fuel subsidies and open India's huge retail market to foreign companies. 

Reuters report: Across the country, morning commuters were left stranded at train stations and bus stops as protesters squatted on railway tracks and laid siege to bus depots. Supporters of the BJP and other opposition parties also burned effigies of Singh and blocked roads with burning tires.

 Hundreds of thousands of owners of mom-and-pop "kirana" stores, who fear the retail reform will drive them out of business, were reported to have shut for the day in protest. Bigger companies gave staff the day off or allowed them to work from home.

"If we don't protest now, the central government will eliminate the poor and middle-class families," said Santi Barik as she protested in Bhubaneswar, capital of the eastern state of Odisha. Continue reading article.

Mahesh Kumar A / AP

Indian police officers detain a left party activist during a nationwide strike in Hyderabad, India, on Sept. 20.

Saurabh Das / AP

Activists of various left parties along with Samajwadi Party members jump over barricades as they try to get detained by police during a protest in New Delhi, India, on Sept. 20.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

A detained activist from India's main opposition Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shouts slogans from a police van during a nationwide strike in Mumbai on Sept. 20.