At least 10 state government buses were damaged and over 200 people were detained during the daylong bandh for a separate state of Vidarbha on Wednesday.
Barring a few violent clashes in some parts of the region, the bandh was peaceful and total. All major cities and towns in the region wore a deserted look. Shops, schools and commercial establishments remained closed.
There was heavy deployment of security personnel in the region. Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which are against the bifurcation of Maharashtra, opposed the bandh.
Agitators took to the streets in various parts of the region ignoring prohibitory orders. Over 200 people, including 55 in Nagpur, were detained for violating the orders.
In Amravati, the agitators damaged some buses.
At least nine long distance trains, including the New Delhi-Bangalore Rajdhani Express and the Mumbai-Nagpur Vidarbha Express, were forcibly stopped and four state transport buses were stoned. Protesters blocked the Mumbai-Kolkata and Varanasi-Kanyakumari highways passing through Nagpur.
A two-wheeler was set on fire in Nagpur. Activists of Vidarbha Rajya Sangram Samiti tried to lock the divisional commissionerate and Nagpur collectorate offices in the morning.
Four pro-Vidarbha youths tried to climb up a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd communication tower in Bhandara town, but were forced to come down by the police. In Yavatmal, a group of 100 farm widows also joined the agitation.
“The total bandh has shown that the people of the region want a separate Vidarbha state,” said Vilas Muttemwar of the Congress.
Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar said: “We will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the separate Vidarbha demand.”
Naxalites lodged in the Nagpur, Amravati and Chandrapur prisons observed a daylong hunger strike in support of a separate Vidharbha.