Due to the Shiv Sena’s call for a bandh on Tuesday, Palghar bore a deserted look throughout the day amidst heavy security arranged by the Thane rural police.
The bandh was called by the Shiv Sena to protest against the suspension of two senior police officers over with the arrest of Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan for a Facebook post that lamented the shutdown on the day of Bal Thackeray’s funeral.
Commercial establishments, schools and colleges in Palghar remained shut to avoid facing the Sena’s wrath, as did industrial areas and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
Autos, including six-seaters, stayed off the roads too, while the state transport buses continued to ply passengers to and fro under the supervision of the police.
No violence or any kind of untoward incidents were reported during the bandh, and Sangramsinh Nishandar, the additional superintendent of police, Vasai Division, added that it was a peaceful bandh.
“We demand that SP Ravindra Sengaonkar and police inspector Shrikant Pingle be reinstated by the government. We also demand strict regulations on the use of social networking sites,” said Prabhakar Raul, district president, Shiv Sena.
The Thane rural police deployed 1,000 officers, including three deputy superintendents of police, eight police inspectors, 25 sub-inspectors, as well as personnel from the state reserve police force, the quick response team, and the riot control police.
The police personnel ensured that there were no untoward incidents. In addition to the policemen, an anti-riot vehicle named Vajra was brought in to control the situation, if a riot was started. “The entire operation was closely monitored by Anil Khumbare, acting superintendent of police,” Nishandar said.
The houses of the two girls arrested for the Facebook post, Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan, were heavily guarded. Shaheen’s uncle’s hospital, which had been vandalised by the Shiv sainiks, was also provided with tight security.