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Pune bandh: 30 buses damaged, rail traffic disrupted

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 28, 2010 20:16 IST
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Barring sporadic incidents of stone pelting that damaged around 30 city buses, the Pune bandh called by Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena passed off peacefully, evoking a mixed response to the protest against removal of the statue of Dadoji Kondadev, the mentor of Maratha ruler Shivaji.

Over 100 agitators including Shiv Sena member of Parliament Gajanan Babar and member of Legislative Assembly Chandrakant Mokate were detained and later released as they broke prohibitory orders in different parts of the city and neighbouring industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad, enforcing the bandh, that saw the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena joining hands with the saffron alliance making a common cause over the statue issue. Shops and commercial establishments in many parts of the city downed their shutters while normal life remained unaffected in other parts. 

After the initial targetting of the buses by the pro-bandh activists, police beefed up security at all points including bus stops, ensuring smooth vehicular traffic throughout the city even as the bandh was called off on Tuesday evening.

Earlier in the day, some Sena activists disrupted rail traffic at Lonavala on Mumbai-Pune section of the Central Railway for half-an-hour, leading to detention of the activists.

Tuesday's bandh was organised by the Sena-Bhartiya Janata Party and supported by MNS as a protest against the removal of the Dadoji statue from Lal Mahal by the authorities pursuant to a resolution passed to that effect by the Nationalist Congress Party-Congress controlled Pune Municipal Corporation.

The issue also triggered violent protests inside the PMC house that saw members of the saffron alliance and NCP coming to blows on Monday, resulting in extensive damage to the furniture.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gore claimed that the bandh called against the "Talibani" attitude of NCP-Congress, was a total success.

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