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Monday, February 24, 2020

Tepid response to Bharat bandh against CAA-NRC in Pune; over 300 detained, released later

The Bahujan Kranti Morcha, led by Vaman Meshram and allied organisations like Bharat Mukti Morcha, had called for a Bharat Bandh against CAA-NRC.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: January 30, 2020 4:06:13 am
The protesters were detained for nearly three hours. (Express photo: Ashish Kale)

The ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Wednesday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), called by some organisations led by the Bahujan Kranti Morcha, received a tepid response in and around Pune. However, over 300 protesters were detained from various places across the city during the agitation.

The Bahujan Kranti Morcha, led by Vaman Meshram and allied organisations like Bharat Mukti Morcha, had called for a Bharat Bandh against CAA-NRC.

According to police officials from Pune City, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune Rural, the bandh was peaceful. Shops and commercial establishments in most parts of the city remained open. In some pockets of Pune, however, shops were closed till Wednesday afternoon.

A senior Pune Police officer said protests in the city were peaceful and the bandh call received a lukewarm response. “Currently, prohibitory orders are in place in the city and nearby jurisdictions… 310 people were detained from various areas for violating prohibitory orders and taking out rallies without permission,” the officer said.

Sachin Bansode, Pune convener for Bharat Mukti Morcha, claimed the organisation’s bandh call “got a very good response”. “But protesters were detained in at least 20 locations across the city. The response to the bandh call has proved that there is widespread sentiment against the unconstitutional actions of the government,” he said.

Police officers said the detainees were held between 1 pm and 4 pm and were released later. The number of people detained at various police station jurisdictions in the city were two in Faraskhana, 104 in Swargate, 22 in Khadak, 65 in Deccan Gymkhana, five in Koregaon Park, four in Kothrud, three in Vishrantwadi, 45 in Chandan Nagar, 17 in Kondhwa and 48 in Wanawadi.

Public transport, educational and commercial establishments in most parts of the city functioned smoothly. Shops and commercial establishments in places like Pune Camp, Kondhwa and Golibar Maidan, which were closed from Wednesday morning, started opening by late afternoon, added a police officer.

The bandh remained peaceful in other areas of the state such as Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Satara, but failed to evoke a widespread response.

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