Barring some stray incidents of stone pelting, the Shiv Sena-announced bandh in Palghar, in protest against the suspension of two policemen over the arrest of two Palghar women who criticised the city shutdown following Bal Thackeray’s demise, was peaceful on Wednesday.
The industrial township wore a deserted look as commercial establishments, schools and colleges remained shut; industrial units in Boisar MIDC and adjoining areas too stayed closed. There were no autos on the roads and ST buses operated at long intervals with police escort.
“There were no untoward incidents,” said Sangramsinh Nishandar, additional superintendent of police, Vasai division. The Sena demanded that superintendent of police (Thane rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior police inspector Shrikant Pingle be reinstated. “The bandh was successful as people voluntarily participated,” said Sena leader Prabhakar Raul.
The town saw heavy police deployment, with 1,000 policemen on duty. Police operations were supervised by acting SP (Thane rural) Anil Khumbare.
The Palghar Bar Association (PBA) observed the bandh to protest the transfer of RG Bagade, first-class judicial magistrate, to Jalgaon. Sudhkar Parulekar, president, PBA, said they did not object to the transfer, “but we are displeased with the way in which it was conducted, as the magistrate was not given an opportunity to explain himself.” The PBA has sent a protest letter to the Maharashtra Bar Council.
On Tuesday, the Bombay high court dismissed speculations that Bagade’s transfer had anything to do with his granting bail to the women or the 10 Shiv Sainiks who vandalised Dhada hospital.
Residents chose to stay indoors. “There were no vehicles outside,” said Sanjay Dubey, 47, a building material supplier in Palghar. The police organised bandobast near Shaheen Dhada’s home. Her uncle Dr Abdul Dhada said: “Shaheen and her parents are not in Palghar. I have received police protection and there’s bandobast outside my hospital.”
(inputs from Kiran Sonawane)