The shutdown against rising prices and inflation paralysed life in large parts of Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai with public transport off the roads and government buses being stoned in several places.
Despite stringent security measures taken by the government, there were at least four incidents of government buses being stoned in Pune and Thane as the shutdown by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, Left, Samajwadi Party and others got underway this morning.
Several top opposition leaders, including BJP state chief Sudhir Mungantiwar, Gopinath Munde, Kirit Somaiya, Sardar Tara Singh, Gopinath Munde and others, were detained for protesting in public places.
As Mumbai woke up this morning, a majority of the BEST (Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport) public buses were seen on the roads along with normal suburban train services.
However, services were hit later in the day.
Barring few incidents of violence, the bandh was by and large peaceful in Nagpur and it's neighbouring areas of Vidarbha region.
In Akola, protestors waved black flags at chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was there to attend a function at Punjabrao Agriculture University. The agitators were also trying to stop the CM’s convoy. The Akola police immediately swung into action and evicted them from the road side even as some of the protestors shouted slogans against the government. “Police detained over 100 activists from there,” said Manohar Rahane, the Akola BJP chief.
The bandh disrupted normal life in several parts in Vidarbha region where activists of BJP and it's youth wing pelted stones on buses, forcing authorities to withdraw bus services, particularly in Nagpur city.
The city police informed that the agitators pelted stones at 16 buses at Ganeshpeth in south Nagpur, the main bus stand of Nagpur and damaged them. Activists also blocked the national highway, Kolkata-Mumbai and Varanasi-Kanyakumari for few hours.
Shops and business establishment remained shut in several parts in Nagpur. However, the functioning of state and central government were normal, barring reports of staging demonstration by the trade union activists in front of few government offices in protest against the fuel price hike. The examinations held by the Nagpur University on Thursday also learnt to have taken place as per the schedule.
The BJP legislator, Vikas Kumbhare led an agitation with his followers at Mahal in central Nagpur this morning where bandh supporters tried to force some shops down shutters which led to tension. However, police’s timely intervention did not allow the incident to snowball. Over 10 persons were detained by the police in this regard. Similarly, there was a heated altercation with the bandh supporters and shop owners at Sitabuldi area on the issue to close the establishments.
“Barring few stray incidents, overall the situation was under control,” claims Ankush Dhanvijay, the commissioner of police (CP), Nagpur city. The police have detained around 150 activists from different parts of the city.
The bandh also received mixed responses from Chandrapur, Gondia, Akola and Amravati districts, according to reports reaching here this evening.
with IANS inputs