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Maharashtra shuts down in bandh today in support of protesting farmers

The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress the ruling alliance in Maharashtra will participate in the state-wide bandh today

Maharashtra shuts down in bandh today in support of protesting farmers
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The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress the ruling alliance in Maharashtra—will participate in the state-wide bandh today, protesting against the violence that arose in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri. Eight people, including four farmers, had died in Lakhimpur Kheri amid a protest march on October 3. The farmers died after being knocked down by vehicles reportedly carrying BJP workers, after which a mob allegedly lynched some people in these vehicles.

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday said his party will participate in the protests with full force.

"The state-wide bandh will commence from 12 midnight," NCP spokesman and state minister Nawab Malik said on Sunday. "The BJP-led central government has allowed the loot of agriculture produce through the three newly-enacted farm laws and now the kin of its minister is killing farmers. We have to show solidarity with the cultivators," he said.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said the workers and leaders of his party would observe maun vrat (vow of silence) outside the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai to register their protest.

In Mumbai, train and bus services are not expected to be affected. However, as The Indian Express reported, shops are largely expected to remain shut, and most agricultural market produce committees including the Vashi APMC could be closed. As the publication reported, trader union leaders like 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 4pm in support of the bandh.

The Federation of Trade Association of Pune (FTAP) president Fattechand Ranka said all shops, except those dealing in essential items, will remain closed till 3pm on Monday. Over 2,000 traders dealing in fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, onions and potatoes etc will support the bandh to show solidarity with farmers who play an all-important role in their sector, said Rohan Ursal, secretary of the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard Adate (Traders) Association. Transport is also likely to be hit in Maharashtra's second largest city as rickshaw unions have decided to not ply their vehicles during the duration of the shutdown on Monday.

The Mumbai Police will deploy the maximum manpower at their disposal on the streets on Monday to prevent any untoward incident.

Three companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), 500 Home Guard personnel and 400 men from the Local Arms units are already deployed as additional manpower for the ongoing Navratri festival security. Police bandobast will be (stepped up) on streets on Monday.

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