Pune brings itself to a standstill to avoid bandh violence | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Pune brings itself to a standstill to avoid bandh violence

Issue rocks Parliament as sporadic violence reported through the day; Residents choose to stay home to be safe

pune Updated: Jan 03, 2018 23:58 IST
Team HT
One of Pune’s busiest shopping centres, Laxmi road, was completely shut down during the Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday.
One of Pune’s busiest shopping centres, Laxmi road, was completely shut down during the Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The city played the safe rather than sorry card on Wednesday, as most residents chose to stay home, ensuring that Pune on the whole, while being brought to a standstill, remained largely peaceful.

Even as politicians across party lines appealed for peace, Maratha outfit Sakal Maratha Kranti Morcha condemned the violence and sought a ₹25 lakh compensation for next of the kin of Rahul Phatangale, who was killed in the violence on January 1 near Bhima Koregaon.

The Maharashtra bandh was called for by Prakash Ambedkar, backed by Left parties and Dalit organisations following the violence that took place at Bhima Koregaon.

On Wednesday, 55 buses were vandalised, roads were blocked in 21 places and 70 protest marches passed through the city, according to Rashmi Shukla, commissioner of Pune police.

According to police officials, six cases were filed against various protesters since Tuesday.

At least five incidents of stone pelting were reported from Sukhsagar Nagar bus terminus, Taljai slum area, area around Sir Parshuram (SP) college, Sinhagad Road and the Jehangir hospital area.

“There were no injuries reported during the protest today,” said commissioner Shukla.

Incidents of vandalism were reported from various areas including Gokul nagar, Dehuroad, Dehugaon, Chinchwad, Pimpri chowk, MG road, Camp, parts of Kothrud, Pimple Saudagar, Guruwar peth, Bhatnagar, Sinhagad road, Hadapsar, Deccan, Wakad, Balewadi, Bhosari, Nigdi, Moshi, Tadiwala Road, FC road, JM road, Tilak road, Sahkarnagar, Erandwane and Swargate among various other spots.

Petrol pumps, shops, buses, taxi services like Uber and Ola, most autorickshaws, eateries, malls, schools and colleges and food delivery services remained shut for most of the day all over the city.

A major unit of police was stationed at the Ambedkar statue park, located next to the newly constructed Collector’s office, as mobs kept gathering around it throughout the day.

Educational institutes, including schools and colleges, decided to remain shut, sensing trouble on Wednesday.

Schools across the city and in Pimpri-Chinchwad decided to stay shut as many school buses and vans refused service.

“Officially, we did not declare that we will close the school. But, we are not taking any attendance. If parents were okay to bring their children to schools, then its fine,” added Flory Fargose, principal, St Joseph School.

Pune bus owners’ association vice-president Rajan Junawane further added, “We had informed parents on Tuesday that the school buses will not operate after the bandh was announced. Almost 100-150 buses bound for schools were cancelled.”

Savitribai Phule Pune University also postponed the examinations for the M.Pharm paper which was scheduled to be held on January 3. This examination was to be held in Pune, Nashik and Nagar district.

The one-day Maharashtra bandh was called off at 4.30pm by Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar.