Mumbai: Visuals showing protestors burning tyres and blocking Eastern Express Highway in Mumbai’s Vikhroli during the Maharashtra Bandh, announced by Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi to protest against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, has surfaced online.
The call for the voluntary shutdown was issued by ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies – Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party, Congress, CPI, CPM, trade unions, several farmer groups, students, women and other groups, except the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and their constituents.
— Jiral Savla (@JiralSavla) October 11, 2021
Considered as an unprecedented move by a ruling coalition, the bandh is a protest against the Lakhimpur-Kheeri massacre in Uttar Pradesh and expresses solidarity with protesting farmers near Delhi and other parts of India.
While the city’s lifeline BEST services remained off-road, inter-district state transport buses were also affected, but suburban trains operated normally, albeit with less passenger load, and all other essential services were exempted from the shutdown.
Maharashtra Police and all other security forces made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident across the state, and Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil warned of action against those involved in disruptive acts.
However, around half a dozen BEST buses were pelted with stones in different parts of Mumbai. Road-blocks or tires were set on fire to prevent some non-essential private vehicles from escaping.
Last week, the state Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had observed a two-minute silence in memory of the Lakhimpur-Kheri victims and later the ruling alliance announced the Maharashtra Bandh.