Maharashtra bandh today over Lakhimpur Kheri violence


Essential services will continue to operate during the shutdown.

The three-party Maharashtra Vikas Agadi (MVA) alliance – comprising NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena – has given a call for a statewide bandh on Monday (October 11) to protest the killing of four farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri. Eight people were killed in the violence at Tikunia, nearly 70km from Lakhimpur Kheri district headquarters. Four of them were farmers, who the locals claim died after an SUV, allegedly part of the convoy of Union minister’s son, ran over them on October 3.

In view of the bandh, security arrangements have been heightened in the state’s capital Mumbai. The police on Sunday said that strict patrolling will be held to ensure no untoward incident takes place. Striking reserves will also be deployed at strategic points, with three companies of Maharashtra state reserve police force (SRPF), 500 Home Guards and 700 men from Local Arms units, news agencies reported quoting police.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard traders’ association has also 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 support the shutdown by keeping their trade closed on Monday. They have appealed to the farmers not to bring their agricultural produce to the market on Monday.

Essential services will continue to operate during the shutdown.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticised the call for a shutdown. The ruling parties are politicising the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, said the leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nitesh Rane also warned the state government not to shut shops forcefully. “If shopkeepers are ‘forced’ to close shops Tomorrow by any of the MVA karyakartas..then they will have to face BJP karyakartas! Police should ensure no one is forced or else there will be a law and order situation which is not our responsibility,” Rane said on Twitter.

The incident took place in Lakhimpur Kheri when the farmers were returning from the protest against the Centre’s three farm laws. The farmers alleged that Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister of home Ajay Mishra Teni, was in the vehicle which ran over farmers. The incident sparked countrywide outrage as opposition and farmers’ bodies alleged that the state government is trying to save culprits.

The UP Police arrested Ashish Mishra on Saturday, after which a local court remanded him in 14-days judicial custody.


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