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Gujarat bandh over Vanzara letter: Congress demands Modi`s resignation

Last Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 14:17

Zee Media Bureau

Ahmedabad: As the Congress called for a bandh across the state on Friday, the Gujarat authorities swung into action and detained party leaders at district level to scuttle the shutdown.

More than 600 people, including Congress leaders and workers, were detained this morning.

Tight security is being maintained across the state to prevent any untoward incidence, police said.

The Congress had called for the bandh today while raising the pitch for the resignation of Narendra Modi-led BJP government in the wake of the letter by suspended IPS officer DG Vanzara.

Congress workers were out on the streets to enforce the shutdown, which has evoked a mixed response in the state. The party workers and supporters tried to stop buses and trains form commuting here, but police detained them.

Schools and colleges were functioning as usual in most parts of the state, officials said.

In the old city in Ahmedabad, Vadaj and some eastern parts, 80 per cent establishments were closed early morning.

Over 60,000 police and other security personnel have been deployed across the state to maintain law and order situation in the wake of bandh call, they said.

"Till now we have not received any reports of untoward incidents of violence," police said.

Twenty-four State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and six Rapid Action Force (RAF) battalions have been directed to be on alert to assist state police, they said.

Crime Branch personnel have also been directed in every city to maintain vigil in sensitive areas.

Congress leaders had also alleged contents of a sting operation conducted on BJP leaders showed Gujarat government had provided a "safe passage" to the "chief conspirator" of former home minister of state Haren Pandya`s murder.

"Sohrabuddin Shaikh`s associate Azam Khan is seen to have revealed that Gujarat government has helped a safe passage to Mufti Sufiyan, who is considered the main conspirator of the murder of former minister of state for home Haren Pandya," alleged state unit Congress president Arjun Modhwadia.

The sting operation claimed to have "exposed" a plan by senior BJP leaders to save the Gujarat Chief Minister`s key aide Amit Shah in Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case.

Vanzara, an accused in a string of alleged fake encounter killing cases, has accused Modi of abandoning him and other officials despite the fact that they were merely implementing the conscious policy of `zero tolerance` towards terrorism of the state government.

The letter came as a major embarrassment for BJP and Narendra Modi who is pitching for a national role.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 09:17

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