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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Lakhimpur Kheri deaths: MVA allies gear up for bandh; BJP calls it playing politics

Jayant Patil, Irrigation Minister and state NCP president, has said, “The MVA has called a state-wide bandh on October 11 against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and appeals to people to participate in the bandh.”

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: October 11, 2021 6:58:39 am
Lakhimpur KheriOn Sunday, October 3, four farmers were among eight persons killed in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. (File Photo/PTI)

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.

On Wednesday, the state cabinet presided over by CM Uddhav Thackeray had passed a resolution expressing regret over the deaths in Lakhimpur Kheri. The ministers had condoled the deaths and stood in silence for two minutes as a mark of respect.

After the cabinet meeting, Jayant Patil, Irrigation Minister and state NCP president, had said, “The MVA has called a state-wide bandh on October 11 against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and appeals to people to participate in the bandh.”

The Shiv Sena and Congress had subsequently expressed their support for the bandh, with both parties claiming that they would actively participate and ensure that the bandh is a success.

On Monday morning, Congress leaders including state chief Nana Patole and city chief Bhai Jagtap will go to Raj Bhavan and hold a sit-in. Patole said that the developments in Uttar Pradesh were throttling democracy.

On Saturday, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said that the party would fully support the bandh.

“Shiv Sena will participate in the bandh with its full strength. All three parties will actively participate. What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri was a murder of the country’s Constitution, a violation of the law and a conspiracy to kill the farmers of the country. The MVA has announced the bandh to awaken the people of the state and to tell the farmers that we are with them,” Raut had said on Saturday.

The Sena is said to have told its party cadre to ensure that shops remain shut on Monday.

A Shiv Sena shakha pramukh from western suburbs said, “We have been told to ensure that shops are closed, but not to get out on the roads and create a din as we are in power.”

Mahesh Tapase, chief spokesperson of NCP, said, “People of Maharashtra have expressed their solidarity with victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. NCP cadres along with workers of other parties will see that bandh is ensured.”

Most agricultural market produce committees including the Vashi APMC are expected to remain shut on Monday.

Traders also said they would support the bandh. Viren Shah of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association said that after requests from the Shiv Sena and other party leaders, they have decided to keep shops closed till 4 pm in support of the bandh.

The opposition 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.”

Trains and buses are expected to run normally.

The Mumbai Police said it would deploy personnel on the streets to ensure that no untoward incident occurs.

“There will be patrolling and fixed points. Reserve striking forces will be deployed at strategic points. Extra manpower has been provided in case any untoward incident takes place. Apart from the Mumbai Police strength, 3 companies of SRPF, 500 home guards and 700 men from Local Arms will be there,” said a senior Mumbai Police official.

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