Maharashtra: APMC market closed in Pune in support of bandh call given by Maha Vikas Aghadi over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence— ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2021
"The traders of the market had decided to observe the bandh and informed the farmers in advance," says market administrator Madhukant Garad pic.twitter.com/PC8fdpyEE8
Shops and markets in Maharashtra will remain closed on Monday as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has called for a statewide bandh to condemn the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in October 3 in which eight people, including farmers, were killed.
The three allies of the ruling government -- Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Congress – have said the bandh has been called to show that Maharashtra stands with the farmers who have been protesting since last year against three contentious farm laws. They have also appealed to the people of the state to support the shutdown for 24 hours.
Eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed as violence erupted during a farmers' protest in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh on October 3. Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV, alleged driven by Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni. Ashish has been arrested and the probe is underway.
"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,” Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said.
The bandh began at 12 midnight on October 11. Everything will remain shut in the state on Monday, except essential services like hospitals, ambulances, medical stories, and milk supply. The police have been directed to ensure there are no law and order issues during the shutdown.
"I request 12 crore, people of Maharashtra, to support the farmers. Support means all of you join the bandh and stop your work for a day," Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik told reporters.
The bandh is not state-sponsored, the government clarified, calling all parties to wholeheartedly support the move.
The traders' union had earlier opposed the bandh saying they have suffered enough during intermittent lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the bandh would only hurt them. But most trader associations finally decided to participate. The Federation of Trade Association of Pune said all shops, except ones selling essential items, will remain closed till 3 pm.
Similarly, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard traders' association has also supported the bandh and said almost 2,000 traders dealing in fruit, vegetable, onion, potato markets will remain closed on Monday.
The Kisan Sabha said workers in 21 districts will coordinate will the people to ensure the bandh is a success.
Party members of Maharashtra Congress will observe maun vrat, or a vow of silence, outside the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai today.
BEST bus services shut after instances of vandalism. Autos and taxis largely stay off the road. Local train services remains unaffected.
Most restaurants, kirana stores across Mumbai to remain shut until 4 pm. Malls in Mumbai shut in first half, to reopen at 4 pm. Navi Mumbai, Pune APMC markets remain shut.
Instances of Shiv Shena, party workers blocking roads, shutting down local markets were reported in Mumbai
Rickshaw unions have decided to not ply their vehicles in support of the bandh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has condemned the decision of the three ruling parties to call for a bandh in the state. Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, has said the ruling parties were politicising the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.