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Bharat bandh called by Congress has MNS as enforcer in Pune

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers reportedly forced some shopkeepers to close commercial establishments

Updated: Sep 11, 2018 14:38:20

By HT Correspondent

MNS activists took to the streets, quite literally, to stage a rasta roko at Morwadi, Pimpri in Pune on Monday, to enforce the Bharat bandh called by opposition parties to protest fuel prices. (HT Photo)

Pune The day-long Bharat bandh called by various opposition parties to protest the ever-spiralling fuel prices (Rs 88/litre for petrol; diesel at Rs 76/litre today) evoked a mixed response in Pune. While the bandh was originally called by the Congress, it was the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) who took it upon themselves to enforce the bandh in Pune.

From 9 am, MNS workers were out on the street asking shopkeepers to close their establishments. The MNS activists also held rasta roko and pelted stones on public transport buses in Kothrud and Swargate, while NCP workers staged protests in Kondhwa, Camp and Sinhagad road.

Schools, colleges and public transport buses functioned smoothly, even as some commercial establishments and petrol pumps remain closed. Areas like Karve road, Kumthekar road and Laxmi road were closed as Monday is the day those markets remain shut.

NCP MP Supriya Sule said, “Government can easily reduce prices of fuel by reducing taxes. However, government does not have will power. You can compare fuel prices today and during the UPA tenure and see the difference.”



The bandh had no impact on the Agricultural produce market committee (APMC), with arrival of fruits and vegetable normal. APMC officials said that 155 trucks of fruits and vegetables arrived on Monday morning.

PMPML buses attacked

MNS protestors vandalised nine buses in the city during the protests. Of the nine buses, tyres of three were deflated and window panes of five buses were vandalised, according to Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) officials.

“We are still gauging where the incidents have happened, but at this point, nine buses have been reported damaged,” a PMPML official said.

In the early-morning incidents, a bus was vandalised on Kumthekar road in Sadashiv peth. The incident of demonstrators deflating bus tyres happened on Paud road, according to eye-witness accounts.

The officials of Western railway and Maharashtra state road transport corporation (MSRTC) said that there were no untoward incidents reported in either of their operations. Shivajinagar police station detained eight for trying to force shopkeepers to shut their shops on Monday afternoon.

Arrests made

The Pune police arrested six people and temporarily detained 29 during the day-long protest on Monday. Of the 29 detained, 18 were in Kondhwa, six in Koregaon park and five in Yerawada. Three cases of public property destruction and rioting were registered at various police stations in the city. Most of the arrested people represented MNS. Protest marches were held in seven places while sit-ins were staged at two locations in the city.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 15:34:19

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