Stray incidents of stone pelting were reported from parts of Maharashtra on Friday during the statewide ‘bandh’ called by Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar’s party against the CAA and the NRC, but normal life remained largely unaffected, officials said.
A bus driver was injured in stone pelting in Mumbai.
The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi called for the statewide shutdown to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the proposed National Register of Citizens and also over economic issues.
Speaking to reporters as he called off the shutdown at around 4 pm, VBA leader Ambedkar said the ‘bandh’ received “good response” from traders and office-goers in Mumbai and that it was “peaceful” across the state.
He said some people who engaged in stone pelting or vandalism during the bandh were not attached to the VBA and they were members of other organisations.
Ambedkar said police lathi-charged VBA workers in Vidarbha’s Amravati, but later released the supporters after the cops realised that the action was “wrong”.
In Palghar adjoining Mumbai, he alleged some Bajrang Dal activists forcibly tried to re-open shops during the shutdown period.
“The protest was held peacefully in rest of the Maharashtra. We were able to convey the message against CAA, NRC and NPR. It is affecting Muslims as well as Hindus… Plus, the country’s economy has collapsed, we are on the cusp of bankruptcy. We were able to highlight it,” Ambedkar said.
He said around 3,000 VBA workers were detained across the
state since Thursday night and added the his party has requested the police to
release the demonstrators as they did not engage in
He also claimed that around 100 political and social organisations apart from labour unions supported the bandh.
Earlier in the day, the driver of a BEST (civic undertaking) bus suffered injuries after stones were pelted on the vehicle in Mumbai’s eastern suburb of Chembur, an official said.
The incident took place at around 9.15 am when some unidentified persons pelted stones at the bus heading towards Kurla station on route number 362, said a spokesperson of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport.
Its driver, Vilas Dabhade, was wounded and rushed to Shatabdi Hospital in suburban Govandi, he said, adding no harm was caused to any of the passengers.
Suburban and outstation trains on both the Central and Western Railways in Mumbai, Metro, monorail services, taxis and auto-rickshaws were plying normally in the financial capital.
“There have been no reports of any attempt to stop taxis from plying,” taxi union leader A L Quadros said.
Tight security was in place at all train stations and no untoward incident has been reported till now, a Railway official said.
Stray incidents of stone pelting on city buses were also reported from Solapur and Aurangabad districts, police said.