Operations of global software companies, financial institutions and government offices in India's main technology hub shut on Wednesday after activists called a strike over a border dispute with a neighboring state.
The 12-hour stoppage in Bangalore, the capital of the southern state of Karnataka, was called by groups disputing claims by next-door Maharashtra over a small border town.
The strike is going on very well all across the state. All works in government departments have come to a complete standstill, L. Byrappa, president of the Karnataka Government Employee's Association, told Reuters.
The streets of Bangalore, home to over 1,500 Indian and multinational tech firms like Microsoft Corp. , Intel Corp. and IBM , were deserted as companies and shops shut down. Schools closed and traffic was sparse.
A spokeswoman for Infosys Technology , India's second largest software services exporter, said the company had closed its three software development facilities in Karnataka.
We have closed offices as a precautionary measure. Work would not be impacted as we have decided to work on Saturday, October 14 to compensate today's leave, she said.
Offices of Bangalore-based Wipro Ltd. , India's third-largest software exporter, were also closed.
B.S. Sial, the state's police chief, said arrangements had been made across the state to prevent violence.
Bangalore shut down for two days in April as people rioted following the death of film icon Rajkumar, leaving eight people dead. Software firms lost $40 million in revenues.
Karnataka and Maharashtra have been embroiled in a battle over Belgaum town - 500 km (310 miles) north of Bangalore - and other towns and villages for years as part of a long-running border dispute.