Mumbai: Dalit outfits took out protest marches in various parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra today, enforcing the state-wide bandh called to protest against the violence unleashed over the commemoration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle’s bicentennial.
Commuters stranded due to less number of auto-rickshaws and other transport in Mumbai. Rickshaw driver in suburban Mulund says, ‘We are supporting this bandh only because we are scared of our loss. They can vandalise anything here.’
Inter-state bus services from Karnataka to Maharashtra have been temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure.
– Western Railway tweeted that tracks have been evacuated of protestors and train operations have resumed at Virar and Goregaon in Mumbai from 9.05 am on WR suburban. Trains are delayed due to it.
– Soon after that, WR tweeted, ‘Large number of protestors have occupied the railway tracks at Nallasopara Station from about 9.55 am, disrupting rail traffic. Administration and security forces are making all efforts to normalise the train operations.’
– Internet services suspended in Aurangabad, bus operations also affected.
– In Mumbai, protesters were gathering at Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Colony, police personnel also at the site.
– In Thane, protesters halted buses and auto-rickshaws at Lal Bahadur Shastri Road. They also deflate bus tyres.
– In Pune, Divisional Security Commissioner D Vikas said, “All trains services running normal in Pune division, security in place to maintain the situation.”
Section 144 has been imposed in Maharashtra’s Thane area till midnight of January 4 in the wake of the statewide band called by the Dalit outfits.
The protestors even halted the trains at Thane railway station pertaining to the same.
“Few protestors tried to disrupt railway services at Thane, but were immediately cleared by RPF and GRP officials. Services are running uninterrupted on Central Railway as of now,” says Chief Public Relations Officer, Central Railway.
Many schools in Thane are shut, with administrations saying they ‘considered safety and security of students’.
“It was left for the parents to decide if they want to send their their children to school, hardly 50 students came today. So now we are even sending them back home, teachers will also leave thereafter,” said a teacher at Mumbai’s Young Ladies High School.
Huge security forces have been deployed in Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Colony and Eastern Express Highway to keep a check on any case of violence.