Maha pockets observe 'bandh', Mumbai normal
The country's financial capital Mumbai functioned normally on Thursday, while some pockets in Maharashtra observed a complete shutdown as part of the 'Bharat bandh' to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
However, major political parties, social groups, NGOs - barring the state Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - will organise a protest at the historic August Kranti Maidan in south Mumbai in the evening, where a large number of students and youth are likely to join.
Similar processions and gatherings are planned in Thane, Palghar, Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Beed, Latur and other parts of the state to oppose the CAA.
While the BJP has been demanding implementations of CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Maharashtra, the ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress has remained non-committal with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray declaring the state to await the Supreme Court's verdict before taking a decision.
At least 34 leading Marathi litterateurs have demanded the withdrawal of the CAA and termed as 'inhuman' the police handling of the protests.
The writers - who include Shanta Gokhale, Satish Aklekar, Jayant Pawar, Arun Khopkar - have labeled the Centre as "narrow-minded" for excluding Muslim refugees while granting citizenship to other minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In order to ward off any untoward incidents, the city police have deployed tight security, traffic regulations and other measures supplemented with CCTVs, drones and armed personnel.IANS