Maharashtra Government calls for bandh; Standing against Lakhimpur violence


A government pushing for the liquidation of businesses in the state in which it rules? Yes, Maharashtra’s shops will be closed today as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government declares a bandh in support of farmers in Uttar Pradesh, a week after eight people were killed in violence in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri during a farmers’ protest. At a joint news conference of the three parties, the state government itself announced the bandh.

“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.

Meanwhile, Nitesh Rane, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has advised the state administration against forcing businesses to close. “If merchants are ‘forced’ to close shops by any of the MVA karyakartas..then they will have to face BJP karyakartas!” BJP MLA Nitesh Rane remarked on Twitter on Sunday. Police should ensure that no one is compelled, or else a law and order scenario may arise, which is not our job.”

A Maharashtra retail traders’ group, on the other hand, has chosen to close all of its stores. Following the state government’s request, Viren Shah, head of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FATWA), has advised traders not to open their stores during the day.

In a series of tweets, the NCP described the federal government as “oppressive” and demanded the resignation of Ajay Mishra, the union minister whose son Ashish was arrested in connection with the case on Saturday.

The state’s security has been beefed up ahead of the shutdown, and patrolling will be stepped up in preparation for the bandh.

Mumbai Police has said that strict patrolling will be held in view of statewide bandh. “Striking reserves to be deployed at strategic points, with 3 companies of SRPF, 500 Home Guards and 700 men from Local Arms units,” said the cops.

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