Pawar slapped: NCP calls Pune bandh today

Bandh call for Friday has also been given in Beed and Sangli districts by local NCP functionaries.

Mumbai: Protests erupted across Maharashtra
on Thursday following the attack on Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in Delhi and NCP has called a bandh in Pune, Sangli and
Beed districts on Friday to protest the assault on its chief.

"We have asked those who love Pawar saheb to observe the
bandh. We won`t compel anyone," Rajpal said. "The bandh will
be peaceful," Pune city NCP chief Vandana Chavan said.

Bandh call for Friday has also been given in Beed and
Sangli districts by local NCP functionaries.

After news about the assault on Pawar, who was slapped by
a Sikh youth claiming to protest price rise and corruption,
spread, NCP activists took to the streets in large numbers to
express their anger and denounce the attack on their
71-year-old party president.

Protesters held demonstrations on roads in Mumbai,
resulting in traffic snarls at several places. Suburban rail
services were disrupted for a few minutes after NCP workers
squatted on the tracks at Masjid Bunder and Kurla stations.

They were quickly dispersed and train services were
restored, said rail police.

Raod traffic was held up in various places like Mulund,
Eastern Express Highway, Vikhroli, Mahim, Byculla and Saath
Rasta, police said.

NCP workers forced shop-owners to down their shutters in
Sion, Dadar, Worli, Antop Hill, Shivaji Park and Kandivali
areas.

Mumbai police said several NCP workers were rounded up to
control the situation. They were let go once the situation was
under control.

In adjoining Navi Mumbai, the agro produce market closed
in protest.

Three stone-pelting incidents were reported in Osmanabad
and Nashik cities in which two public transport buses and a
lorry were damaged.

Window panes of a state transport bus was damaged in
Osmanabad whereas a bus and a lorry were damaged during stone-
pelting by NCP workers, police said.

NCP workers blocked vehicular traffic at Trimbak Road and
Kalwan in Nashik district to protest the attack on their party
chief.

In Baramati, Pawar`s native place in Pune district,
traders observed a spontaneous bandh. Party activists staged
`rasta roko` on highways around Pune. Traffic on busy
Pune-Mumbai Expressway was temporarily affected as a result of
the protest, police said.

Protests by NCP workers were also witnessed in Solapur.

PTI

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