Ahmedabad: The bandh call by Rajput community organisations against Bollywood movie Padmaavat on Thursday received a mixed response across Gujarat even as several commercial establishments and multiplexes remained shut as a precautionary measure.
Business activities and vehicular traffic remained sluggish throughout the day, notwithstanding the Gujarat government’s claim on Wednesday that the Rajput bodies had withdrawn the strike call since the movie was not to be screened in the state and that there would be no law and order issues.
There were no reports of any major violence, though in Mehsana in north Gujarat, some youths were seen forcing shopkeepers to down their shutters and kicked up a ruckus in police presence.
The police burst teargas shells and did a mild lathi-charge to disperse the mob that began blocking the highway.
Information coming in from various regions suggested that commercial establishments remained closed across the state.
Few vehicles were seen on otherwise busy streets while Gujarat capital Gandhinagar witnessed a curfew-like atmosphere.
Popular malls in Ahmedabad, like Ahmedabad One and Acropolis housing multiplexes, which witnessed arson and burning of vehicles early this week, remained shut.
While most shops in the old city remained shut, there was a mixed response in more affluent western parts of the city that witnessed violence earlier. Cinemas also recorded low attendance.
Those arrested in connection with the violence at malls and multiplexes in Ahmedabad were released on bail on personal bonds of Rs 15,000 each.
In Surat, supporters of Shri Rajput Karni Sena held a ‘dharna’ against the movie but barring a handful of areas, commercial establishments and offices continued to function normally.
In Rajkot, the hub of the Saurashtra region with a significant Rajput population, the bandh received widespread response as commercial and educational institutions remained closed.
In Bhavnagar, over 1,500 persons went around the town to force market shutdowns while at some places shopkeepers pulled down shutters on their own. At many places, protestors urged them to down shutters.