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Maharashtra Government calls for ‘bandh’ in the state today to protest against UP’s Lakhimpur violence

Everything except essential services will remain shut in the state as per the guidelines.

A government calling for closure of bussiness in its own ruling state? Yes, Shops will remain shut across Maharashtra today as the Maha Vikas Aghadi or MVA government has called a bandh in solidarity with farmers in Uttar Pradesh, a week after eight people died in violence in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri during a farmers’ protest.

In fact, the state government itself announced the bandh at a joint press conference of the three parties.

“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, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nitesh Rane has warned the state government not to shut shops forcefully. Taking to Twitter, BJP MLA Nitesh Rane on Sunday said, “If shopkeepers are ‘forced’ to close shops 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 n order situation which is not our responsibility”.

On the other hand, a Maharashtra retail traders’ association has decided to keep all shops closed. Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Assocaition (FRTWA) has urged traders to not operate shops throughout the day following the state government’s request.

The NCP, in tweets, called the central government “oppressive” and called for the resignation of Ajay Mishra – the union minister whose son Ashish was arrested on Saturday in connection to the case.

Security has been tightened in the state ahead of the shutdown and patrolling will be intensified 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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