Gujarat Congress on Friday held “rail and bus roko” agitation across the state to protest the Centre’s demonetisation move and the cash crunch.
The call for the agitation was given by Gujarat Congress two days ago, alleging that the Narendra Modi government had failed to address the issue of shortage of cash.
Responding to the call, large number of Congress workers and leaders, including those from the party’s student wing NSUI, blocked roads in cities like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surat, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Limdi, Morbi, Himmatnagar, Mehsana, Valsad, Bardoli, Dahod and many other parts of the state.
At several places, such as Rajkot, Himmatnagar, Nadiad, Surat and Bharuch, protesters also stopped trains by squatting on the tracks or climbing onto the locomotives, prompting the police to detain them.
According to police, hundreds of protesters were detained across the state by police for trying to stop buses as well as trains.
In Ahmedabad, 136 Congressmen, including 44 women workers, were detained for stopping the state transport buses at the city’s main bus depot in Geeta Mandir area.
“We had deployed large number of force to stop the agitators from blocking the buses at Geeta Mandir. During evening, we have detained 136 Congress workers for trying to stop the buses. We have released them afterwords,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (K division), Chintan Teraiya, said.
Talking to reporters, city Congress chief Chetan Raval slammed the Centre over the “unavailability of cash”.
“The situation is worsening by the day, as people are unable to withdraw their own money from banks and ATMs. Despite standing in queue for hours, people are going home empty handed. This protest is to highlight the issue of mismanagement by the government,” Raval, who led the protest, said.
In Valsad, at least 10 NSUI members, led by their president Mahesh Patel, were detained for setting ablaze Modi’s effigy.
In Surat, several Congress workers were detained for showing black flags to BJP chief Amit Shah, who arrived there to attend a mass-wedding function this evening.
“Black flags were shown when Shah’s convoy passed from Maharana Pratap Chowk area of Ghodadara area of the diamond city,” said police.