The Pune district police sealed off all entry points to Lonavla on Monday following the bandh called by Shiv Sena to protest against participation of two Pakistanis in the television reality show Bigg Boss 4.
While the hill station, where the show is being shot, observed a complete shutdown, police detained some Sena workers for violating prohibitory orders.
While the Lonavla police claimed to have detained 265 people, Sena leaders maintained that more than 1,000 people participated in the agitation. Some of the prominent leaders detained by the police were Lok Sabha member Gajanan Babar, MLC Neelam Gorhe and MLA Chandrakant Mokate.
Gorhe was stopped at Wadgaon-Maval in the morning, but she managed to enter Lonavla by noon. She was detained with Sena workers, who tried to burn the Pakistani flag. The police also foiled attempts by the Sainiks to conduct a meeting and take out a march to the bungalow, where Bigg Boss is being shot.
However, according to the police, there were no major untoward incidents.
While all shops, commercial establishments and hotels remained closed at the hill station, all private vehicles were checked before letting them in. There was heavy security at even the railway station and the state transport (ST) bus stand.
Vehicles of Sena workers were stopped on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, the expressway and on all other connecting routes. In retaliation, the Sainiks, who were led by Sena’s district chief Machhindra Kharade, staged a rasta roko at seven places in and around Lonavla.
Kharade warned that the Sena would further intensify its agitation, if the government tried to suppress them. “Government can’t stop us like this. We will continue our agitation in our own way,” said Kharade.