Maharashtra Bandh: empty roads, commuters stranded, shops closed

MUMBAI: The statewide shutdown (bandh) called by the Maha Vikas Aghadi or the MVA government in Maharashtra in solidarity with farmers a week after eight people died in violence in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri during a farmers' protest saw mixed response with several establishments shutting shop and with limited vehicles plying the roads commuters were stranded at various places.

The MVA which is the ruling alliance comprising of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress Party and the Shiv Sena has said that the bandh would be peaceful and had called upon all businesses to observe the bandh however, medical and essential services were exempted.

In Mumbai, taxis, autos and BEST buses run by the corporation largely remained off roads, although trains and metro functioned without any problem. The Agricultural Produce Market Committee or the wholesale vegetable market which supplied vegetables to the city remained shut. The movement of outstation trains was not impacted as passengers were seen arriving at major junctions and there was no impact on air travel. 

A union of traders in Maharashtra that earlier objected but later decided to support the bandh. Viren Shah, chief of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said that on request of the Shiv Sena and other party leaders, traders have decided to keep shops closed till 4 pm in support of the shutdown call.

Till afternoon no untoward incident had been reported except some stray, minor incidents of stone-throwing and political workers especially Shiv Sena workers who were seen patrolling streets and stopping autos in some parts of Thane which are considered to be the traditional stronghold of the party.

The state police department has said that maximum police force has been deployed across the state to prevent any untoward incident during the Maharashtra bandh and additional companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Home Guard and Local Arms units have been put on bandobast on streets to tackle any situation.

The Mumbai police tweeted in the morning saying that local trains were operating on their regular schedule, so you can plan your day accordingly, also essential services are functioning as usual.

Ashish Mishra, the son of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union of State in Ministry of Home affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra has been named in a police case filed by farmers who said he drove into a gathering of slogan-shouting demonstrators amid a peaceful black-flag protest last Sunday and allegedly moved down four farmers. Four others were killed in the violence that followed after the incident.

After intense pressure build-up on police inaction by political parties even after a murder case was filed and having been pulled up by the Supreme Court for not doing their job properly, the UP police called Ashish for questioning and later arrested him on Saturday (October 9) night.


  • Swapnil Mhaske
    Swapnil Mhaske

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