Mumbai: The Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar had announced a state-wide bandh against the Central government's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and also over economic issues. Several protestors were detained and a bus was damaged in Mumbai on Friday during the shutdown. VBA and 35 organisations called for this bandh. 100 other organisations supported it.
Speaking at a press conference, Prakash Ambedkar said, “Our protest against government's CAA and NRC was peaceful and successful. I am grateful to the people who supported this bandh.”
He claimed that the bandh received a massive response from businessmen and office goers in Mumbai. “Our protest was peaceful. The masked man who pelted stones on a bus at Chembur wasn't our volunteer,” Ambedkar stated. The incident took place at around 9.15am, when some unidentified persons pelted stones at the bus heading towards Kurla station on route number 362, said a spokesperson of BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). Bus driver Vilas Balasaheb Dabhade (53) was wounded and rushed to Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi and no harm was caused to any of the passengers.
Meanwhile, in Amravati, several VBA workers observing the bandh were lathi charged. However, they were released later, claimed Ambedkar.
In Palghar, Bajrang Dal activists forcibly tried to re-open shops during the shutdown.
Around 3,000 to 3500 VBA workers were detained across the state since Thursday night. "We have requested the police to release the demonstrators, as they did not engage in any kind of wreckage," he added.
The bandh was called off at 4pm. "Muslims as well as Hindus have realised the threat of these draconian policies and economic slow down," said Ambedkar.