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Mass demonstrations erupted on Thursday with thousands of Indians protesting across the country to oppose the government's decision to open the retail sector for foreign investors as well as the recent fuel hike.
Demonstrators blocked rail routes and forcefully shut down markets.
The protests come in the wake of the government’s "big bang" decision to open the retail sector for foreign investors and hiking the prices of diesel.
|Samajwadi Party activists block a train during a strike in Allahabad, India, Thursday, Sept.|
The move on retail was among a series of reforms launched last week. They are seen as crucial to reviving India’s slowing economic growth, reining in a bloated fiscal deficit and warding off the possibility of a credit rating downgrade.
But opposition leaders though, don’t believe these reforms, if enacted, will achieve those results.
Shivanand Tiwari, senior leader of India’s Regional Janata Dal United Party, said, "The policies adopted by the Congress party resulted in inflation in the country and it has also only led to an increase in scams and corruption. The country is now dependent on foreign investment for growth and the economic policy of the country is being formulated on the directions of the World Bank and the IMF. It is for the first time that there is such serious opposition against the government policies."
Indian police detain activists from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party during a strike
|Activists from opposition parties protest in Hyderabad.|
|Indian policemen detain activists of left parties during a nationwide strike in Hyderabad,|
India, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.
|Samajwadi Party activists hold party flags and block a railway track during a protest in|
Allahabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.