Half-day bandh call given by the Congress party to protest killing of party leaders by Maoists in Chhattisgarh turned violent at some places in the state. Ujjain was the worst-hit in this regard, where Congress activists ransacked hotels and restaurants and damaged vehicles to force businessmen keep their establishments closed.
According to reports, Congress activists damaged around 30 vehicles including four buses, 12 trucks, eight Tata Magic, four autorickshaws, one Matador and two tempos.
Violence erupted in neighbouring Dewas district also when Congress corporator Pradip Chaudhary and his supporters pelted stones at an open shop near Sheeba Hotel along AB Road. However, police reached the spot and controlled the situation. A severe altercation soon took place between Congress corporator and the police. Senior party leaders had to intervene to settle the dispute.
Sensation prevailed at Jehangirabad locality in Jabalpur, when a shop owner pulled out a revolver and put it on the chest of NSUI district president Vijay Rajak. The NSUI activists were taking out a rally to appeal to shopkeepers to keep their shops closed when they spotted a lassi shop open and asked its owner to put the shutters down. Following this, they moved ahead but when they returned, they found the shop open. When they tried to act tough with him so that he closed the shop, the shop owner took out a revolver and put it on the chest of NSUI district president. Later, police was informed and senior Congress leaders also intervened to settle the issue and peace was restored.
In Bhopal, police used mild force to disburse the Congress activists in MP Nagar when they were trying to force the shopkeepers to put shutters of their establihments down. Police asked them not to carry flags of the party or at least detach them from the long sticks. The protestors disbursed then but later reassembled at the MP Nagar police station to protest the police action and were beaten up by the police. Stray incidents of forced closure of shops and roadside kiosks have also been reported from some other parts of the city.
In Sagar, tension prevailed at Makroniya area when Congress protestors manhandled a vegetable vendor who was selling vehgetables as usual. As they beat up the vegetable vendor Preetam, traders of the area reached the police station and lodged a complaint. The Congress activists also lodged a counter complaint accusing the vendor and traders to have assaulted them.
In Indore, the bandh was total and peaceful. All the shops except those selling essential commodities like medicines, milk and vegetables remained closed till noon. Petrol pumps too remained closed till 1pm. Though the official time for bandh was till 2 pm, some shops at River Side Road, Cloth market, Sarafa, Rajwada began opening at 1.30pm.
Bandh in Gwalior evoked mixed response and major trading centers and market places like Daal Bazar, Naya Bazar, Lohiya Bazar, Maharaj Bada, Jayendra Ganj, Thatipur, Morar and old Gwalior etc remained closed.
However, no reports of violence were received from any part of the city.
Emergency services such as medical shops, banks and government offices etc had been exempted from the bandh across the state and continued business as normal. However, daily commuters faced hardship in the absence of public transport, which was off the road. Only the private vehicles and auto-rikshaws were seen plying on the road during bandh.
A communique from state situation room of police headquarters said that except for sporadic incidents of violence at some places, bandh was peaceful and 70 to 75% bandh was observed in the state.