A union of traders in Maharashtra has objected to the state government’s call for a bandh tomorrow to protest last week’s violence at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.
The traders union said in a statement today that they are only returning to business after the intermittent shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic and their earnings would be affected by the shutdown.
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.
The Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association or FRTWA, however, said it does not support the bandh. Viren Shah, head of the traders’ group, said in a video statement, “We oppose the killing of farmers in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. Whoever was responsible for the killings should be punished. But the FRTWA called by the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government Gone does not support any shutdown.” .
“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.’
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.