Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
Gujarat bandh call given by state Congress evoked mixed response in the state on Friday. While shops, schools and colleges in many areas of Ahmedabad remained closed, government offices, banks and public transport remained near normal.
Congress leaders claimed that the bandh call had a great response and even BJP dominated areas observed bandh. In media interaction in the evening, they said that BJP used entire administration and police force against the bandh. So, they said, even the areas where there was no effect, there was an effect.
PCC chief Arjun Modhwadia said that over 25,000 Congress workers were picked up police which itself established the scale of government action to make Bandh a flop. Leader of opposition, Shankarsinh Vaghela said police used force against Congress workers.
Congress had given bandh call demanding resignation of Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the ground of the allegations made by senior police officer D G Vanzara who is in jail in number of fake encounter case.
Overall, the bandh was peaceful barring some sporadic incidents like burning of tyres and breaking of window panes of state transport buses, police said. Meanwhile, Congress MP from Rajkot, Kunvarji Bavaliya on Friday marched on foot from district panchayat chowk to Rajkot main street seeking dropping of Section 307 imposed on city Congress president Jasvant Bhatti.
Bhatti was arrested late last night and booked under IPC section 307 when he along with a few Congress workers attempted to torch a Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) bus yesterday.
Congress MLA from Rajkot, Indranil Rajyaguru staged a day long sit-in before the city police commissionerate.
Nearly 10 NSUI (National Student Union of India) workers were today detained when they ransacked a Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) vehicle near Kalavad road, police said.
Congress leaders Paresh Dhanani (MLA from Amreli) and Jasa Barad (MLA from Veraval) were detained in Amreli and Veraval respectively, police said.
In Surat city, around 120 Congress workers were detained, police said, adding the bandh was total in certain pockets of the city. In Navsari, around 200 workers were rounded up.
While Gujarat Congress has claimed that the bandh is a great success, state BJP leaders have disputed this and claimed that people have rejected the bandh call given by the opposition.
The state Congress has said that given the large scale and "desperate" attempts from the state government to foil the bandh, people of Gujarat have responded "unprecedentedly" to the call given by the party.
"Given the government's desperate measures to suppress the voice of people,the Gujarat bandh call given by our party has evoked an unprecedented response across the state. We believe that the bandh was successful," state Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.
Alleging police "brutality" towards party leaders and workers, Doshi said, "In Ahmedabad, officers of the rank of DCP resorted to baton-charging in Hatkeshwar area in which two of our workers were injured, who are undergoing treatment in hospital."
"Another party leader Surendra Baxi was not only attacked but was verbally abused by the police. We have received scores of reports of such police behaviour from across the state," he said.
However, the state BJP has refuted Congress' claims of the bandh being successful.
"Bandh has failed to enthuse people and schools, colleges, banks, offices, transportation, everything is functioning normally. I thank people of Gujarat for not supporting the bandh call," said state BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja.
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