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Indians protest high fuel prices as rupee hits all-time low

Nationwide protests against record high petrol and diesel prices shut down businesses, government offices and schools in many parts of India on Monday, and in some places protesters blocked trains and roads and vandalized vehicles.READ MORE: Farmers march on India’s capital to protest ‘anti-people’ policies
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Gearing up for a general election less than nine months away and assembly elections expected in some states later this year, opposition parties banded together to organize their first protest action in a joint campaign to stir discontent with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government.READ MORE: India’s top court legalizes gay sex in landmark rulingOpposition Congress party activists marched, blocked roads and disrupted trains in Odisha, while other opposition parties protested outside offices of oil marketing companies.Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blamed the higher fuel prices and a falling rupee currency on the prime minister’s policies.“The rupee has never has been weaker in 70 years of independence,” Gandhi said. “Farmers, labourers see no light at the end of the tunnel. Only 15-20 big industrialists are prospering.”Protesters burnt tires and blocked traffic in Assam. Several people were arrested in Assam and West Bengal, officials said.WATCH BELOW: India leaves 4 million people off Assam citizens’ list

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