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Mumbai bandh passes off peacefully
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai |
July 30, 2003 09:05 IST
Last Updated: July 30, 2003 15:50 IST
Barring stray incidents of stone pelting in some parts of the city, the Mumbai bandh called by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine on Wednesday passed off peacefully.
The bandh, called in protest against Monday night's bus blast in Ghatkopar that left four people dead and over 30 injured, however, brought the city to a grinding halt.
Road and rail services in the metropolis were thrown out of gear as Shiv Sainiks blocked traffic by squatting on tracks and main thoroughfares, police said.
Blockades on railways tracks were reported from Dombivli, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Diva, Kalyan, Sewri, Wadala, Currey Road, Chinchpokli, Borivali, Dadar and Marine Lines.
Long-distance train services were also disrupted for a brief period.
The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Undertaking ran only skeletal services with reports of stone pelting on buses in Chembur, Girgaum, Parel, Santacruz and Vakola. Nine buses were damaged.
In the satellite township of Navi Mumbai, the bandh was total.
Over 40,000 policemen were deployed to maintain law and order in the city.
Educational institutions, offices, shops and commercial establishments remained closed. Flights to and from Mumbai were rescheduled.
Shiv Sena activists held demonstrations outside the Bombay Stock Exchange building urging the authorities to halt all trading activity.
However, the protestors were dissuaded by the police at the stock exchange from resorting to violence. After raising slogans for a while, the demonstrators went off.
Brokers in Mumbai said that notwithstanding the bandh call, trading activity in the market was brisk, although trading volumes were lower than on normal days.
A news channel reported that attempts were made to create trouble at the domestic and international airports too.