The bandh call evoked a mixed response in the island city. While the streets wore an empty look, it was business as usual in several trading hubs at Bhendi Bazaar and Mohammed Ali Road.
While the bandh gathered steam as the day progressed, those who started their day early did not face any disruption on the roads. “The trains were less crowded than usual and we could travel with ease,” said Madhusudan Joglekar, who commutes daily from Dombivli to CST.
“Mumbai bandh hai, par log chalu hai (Mumbai is shut but the people are not),” said some youth at the Mumbai Central station, describing the Bandh.
Commercial establishments in areas such as Agripada and Morland Road, near Madanpura, were closed and there was negligible traffic on the streets. These areas saw instances of stone pelting at BEST buses in the morning, and policemen were seen patrolling them later in the day. But in areas such as Sankli street, YMCA Road, Sunni Badi Masjid and Madanpura, the bandh did not affect regular activity.
“The bandh is like a token protest and the shops open before sunset anyway. So we decided to continue with our routine,” said Younus Khan, a shopkeeper from the area.
The usually jam-packed roads near the Crawford market were empty, as most taxies and private vehicles kept off the streets.
The commercial hubs of Colaba, Flora Fountain and Nariman Point remained fairly empty, and the turnout in offices and business remained low.