Maharashtra bandh over Lakhimpur Kheri violence tomorrow. What you need to know
The Maharashtra ruling alliance has called for a statewide bandh on October 11 to protest against the killing of four farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri. The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA)—the ruling coalition of the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena—on Saturday said that bandh has been called to show that the state is with the farmers of the country.
On Saturday, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha lawmaker Sanjay Raut said his party will participate with full force in the Maharashtra bandh. Raut said it was necessary to wake people up against the Centre’s anti-farmer policies, adding that farmers are not alone in their fight and the process of showing solidarity with them must begin from Maharashtra. “All the three parties will actively participate in the bandh. What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri was a murder of the country’s Constitution, a violation of the law and a conspiracy to kill the food-provider farmers of the country,” Raut said while addressing a press conference along with NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik and state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
“We appeal to people that they must come together. We must keep our work shut for one day. Shopkeepers on their own must keep shops shut. Workers of the three parties will request shops, establishments and people to show support for the farmers,” Malik, who is also a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, said. Malik added that the bandh would come into force from Sunday midnight. “We appeal to all the workers to not create any issues for the essential services, such as hospitals, ambulance, medical stories, milk supply, during the bandh,” he also said.
Traders associations have decided to keep Pune Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) closed on Monday by participating in a Maharashtra bandh. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard traders’ association has announced that all the fruit, vegetable, onion, potato markets will remain closed on Monday. The traders’ union has also appealed to all the members to keep their trade closed on Monday. They have appealed to the farmers not to bring their agricultural produce to the market on Monday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has condemned the Maharashtra bandh decision and the leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that the ruling parties are politicising the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
The four farmers were mowed down by an SUV while they were returning from the protest against the Centre’s three farm laws in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. The farmers alleged that Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister of home Ajay Mishra Teni, was in the vehicle and later fled. Ashish Mishra has been arrested and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Four other people, including a local journalist, also died in the violence that day, after which an angry mob allegedly lynched some people in these vehicles.