There have been worse days when Mumbaiites have braved the weather, threats and attacks to step out, but on Monday the city chose not to venture out.
It did not matter that the trains and buses were running and that the state government had assured people that they could go about without fear.
It helped that most private establishments had asked their staff not to come to work.
The result was a complete shutdown, something that perhaps even the BJP, which called for the nation-wide bandh to protest the fuel hike, didn’t expect from this city of 16 million.
Most educational institutions remained shut, as did commercial establishments, shops, malls, restaurants and offices. Government offices in the city reported staff strength of a mere 35 per cent, despite attendance being made mandatory.
There were several instances of violence, stone-pelting, raasta and rail rokos across Mumbai by BJP, Sena and MNS activists, but there were no casualties. The BEST bore the brunt of the agitations, with 175 buses being damaged and 10 conductors and drivers suffering minor injuries.
The police arrested and detained 1,468 protestors in Mumbai and 4,268 for the rest of the state. Of this, there were three MPs and 32 were legislators.
“By and large there were no big disruptions or violence, and people were unhurt,” said Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who however admitted that apprehension kept people indoors.
“People have a threshold but rabid inflation made people cross that threshold and helped us ensure a complete shutdown,” said Sudhir Munguntiwar, state BJP president. “People have supported the bandh,” said Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray.