As the rest of the country celebrated Teachers’ Day, schools and colleges remained closed across the State on Tuesday in the wake of a Congress-sponsored bandh to press for a CBI inquiry into the killing of Ujjain professor H S Sabharwal.
In Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur and Ujjain, Congress and NSUI workers were seen urging shop owners to down their shutters. Barring stray incidents of skirmishes between ABVP and NSUI supporters in Jabalpur and adjoining areas, the daylong strike remained peaceful.
Police made elaborate arrangements for any untoward incident. While private schools and colleges remain closed, government-run educational institutions hardly reported any attendance. People working in government offices in several parts of the state also stayed home fearing trouble. A report from Ujjain, where Sabharwal died on August 26, however, said certain business establishments and banks opened after mid-day.
In Bhopal, almost all schools declared a holiday while government-run educational institutions presented a deserted look. All the major markets in both the old and the new City and BHEL and Bairagarh townships were closed. It was the first occasion when Congress workers seemed charged up in response to their leadership’s appeal to make the bandh a success.
Claiming that the bandh was a success, state Congress spokesman Manak Aggarwal said, “It was complete and peaceful throughout the state”.
Though public transport was exempted from the bandh, only a few people ventured out. The number of auto-rickshaws and buses on roads was also less. In Ujjain, where Congress activists were seen asking shopkeepers to down shutters in the morning, some business establishments and banks opened later in the day.
Meanwhile, Sabharwal’s colleagues paid homage to him during a function at Madhav college. They took out a rally carrying his photograph and observed a two-minute silence.