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Chhattisgarh: Shops, several schools stay shut as right-wing bodies observe bandh to protest Udaipur killing


RAIPUR: Several shops and commercial establishments were shut in major cities of Chhattisgarh on Saturday amid the statewide bandh called by right-wing organisations to protest the brutal killing of a tailor in Udaipur.

While essential services were not involved in the bandh, schools and colleges were shut in some cities, including capital Raipur, and public transport was off roads at various places.

According to the police, the bandh was observed peacefully and no untoward incident was reported so far from any part of the state.

The Chhattisgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the largest trade body in the state, also supported the bandh called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, and appealed to businessmen to keep their establishments, barring those engaged in selling essentials, shut till 2 pm.

The opposition BJP leaders were also seen on roads with VHP and Bajrang Dal activists appealing to people to keep their establishments shut.

The right-wing activists carrying saffron flags marched on foot and rode motorcycles at many places, including Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Mahasamund, Kanker, Dhamtari, Bemetara, Raigarh and Korba, shouting slogans demanding capital punishment for the accused in the Udaipur killing.

On June 28, Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, was brutally murdered in his shop in Rajasthan's Udaipur, by two men who said they are avenging an insult to Islam.

Former MLA and BJP leader Srichand Sundarani, who took part in the protest in Jai Stambh chowk here, said, “There is anger among the people in the country over the brutal murder of Kanhaiya Lal.

"Those who were involved in the heinous offence will be given a fitting reply. Those who are creating an atmosphere of terror and have become a challenge to Hindutva will be given a fitting reply. All shops, schools, colleges and even petrol pumps were shut in the capital in protest against the incident," he claimed.

“By supporting the bandh, people of Chhattisgarh have shown that this kind of heinous crime will not be tolerated. The country will be run by the Constitution, not by the Sharia (Islam's legal system)," VHP leader Ghanshyam Chaudhary said.

A senior police official said, “Sufficient security was put in place in the capital and other cities to prevent untoward incidents during the bandh."

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress said the entire country has condemned the barbaric incident, but the way the BJP was politicising the issue, is highly condemnable.

"“The Udaipur incident is barbaric, inhumane and condemnable. The entire country has been condemning it. But the way BJP has been doing politics over the incident is highly condemnable and against the idea of Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb," said Sushil Anand Shukla, the head of the state Congress' communication wing.

“"It is not appropriate to shut Chhattisgarh in protest against the incident. During the bandh, the way the BJP, RSS and VHP workers have been acting is against social harmony. It is wrong to pressurise shop owners to shut their establishments," he added.