Lakhimpur Kheri deaths: MVA calls for bandh today, traders to participate

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The Federation of Traders’ Associations of Pune will participate in the Maharashtra Bandh called by the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on Monday by shutting shops till 3 pm.

The Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP will be working together in close coordination to ensure the success of the October 11 state-wide bandh, which was announced by the three parties last week. The three parties have called for the bandh to protest against the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, where eight people were killed.

City leaders of Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and other organisations held a meeting on Sunday and decided to hold a rally at Ambedkar Statue near Pune Railway Station at 11 am. The meeting was attended by Congress’s Ramesh Bagve, Mohan Joshi, NCP’s Prashant Jagtap, Sena’s Prashant Badhe, Shetkari Bachao Kriti Samiti’s Nitin Pawar and Lokayat’s Swapnil Fuse.

A delegation of MVA leaders also met representatives of traders’ associations to request them to support the bandh. Fatehchand Ranka of Federation of Traders’ Associations of Pune, said that considering the losses suffered by traders owing to disturbances caused by the pandemic, traders have agreed to observe the bandh till 3 pm in the afternoon.

“All the constituent parties of MVA, other ideologically inclined groups, PMPML workers’ Union and several students’ unions have announced their support for the bandh. These groups will organise bike rallies in their respective areas and attend the rally at Ambedkar Statue. We are determined to make the bandh a success in a peaceful manner,” said Ramesh Iyer, spokesperson, city Congress.

Auto associations, cab associations, private offices and schools have been urged to participate in the bandh, Iyer added.

Meanwhile, senior officials from the Pune City police said adequate force deployment has been planned on Monday. An officer said sensitive locations have been identified and a plan has been chalked out for these locations and also for the route of a rally that is slated to start from the Pune District Collector’ office.
The deployment will comprise two Additional Commissioners of Police, two Deputy Commissioners of Police, eight Assistant Commissioners of Police, 13 Police Inspectors, 76 Assistant Inspectors, 87 Sub-inspectors and 3,000 and constabulary force.

The BJP criticised the bandh call and said that parties are playing politics over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said, “They are trying to capitalise on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. If anyone is forcing shutting of shops, the BJP will come on the road and stop it.”

(With inputs from ENS Mumbai)