A traders’ union in Maharashtra, objecting to the state government’s call for a bandh yesterday to protest last week’s violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, where four farmers killed eight people, decided to support the bandh. Is.
Federation of Retail chief Viren Shah said, “Following the request of Shiv Sena and other party leaders, we decided to keep the shops closed till 4 pm in support of the bandh call by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to protest the killing of farmers. Is.” Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) said in a revised statement on Sunday.
Earlier, FRTWA said that traders are only getting back into business after the intermittent lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown would affect their earnings. “We have suffered huge losses due to the lockdown in the last 18 months. Our business is growing slowly. In the middle of the festive season when customers have started coming out to shop, let us do our business peacefully. We Govt. Let the retail business remain open. We hope that the shopkeepers will not be harassed or forced to remain closed.”
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government of Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party or NCP is supporting the bandh. In fact, the state government itself had announced the bandh in the joint press conference of the three parties.
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik told reporters, “I request the 12 crore people of Maharashtra to support the farmers. Support means you all join the bandh and stop your work for a day.”
The state government said that everything would remain closed except for essential services.
However, it appears the traders are caught in the political crossfire, as the BJP has said it will not allow “forcible closure of shops” to support the bandh.
“If shopkeepers are forced to close shops tomorrow by any MVA worker, they will have to face BJP workers. Police should ensure that no one is forced otherwise there will be law and order situation Which is not our responsibility,” Maharashtra BJP leader Nitesh Rane tweeted.
Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was named in a police case filed by farmers who said he had entered a gathering of protesters last Sunday raising slogans amid a peaceful black flag protest.