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  Metros   Mumbai  26 Jul 2018  Mumbai bandh : Frenzy, force & tear gas prevail

Mumbai bandh : Frenzy, force & tear gas prevail

Published : Jul 26, 2018, 1:27 am IST
Updated : Jul 26, 2018, 1:27 am IST

The Mumbai bandh organisers, who had planned a peaceful protest, had to call it off around 2 pm after many violent incidents.

Maratha protesters burn a vehicle as they went on a vandalisation spree in Navi Mumbai in a face-off with the police, on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)
 Maratha protesters burn a vehicle as they went on a vandalisation spree in Navi Mumbai in a face-off with the police, on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: Violent protests by Marathas broke out in Mumbai and its adjoining areas during a bandh on Wednesday over demands for reservation. Agitators broke vehicles, blocked highways and even stopped trains, disrupting normal life. The Mumbai bandh organisers, who had planned a peaceful protest, had to call it off around 2 pm after many violent incidents.

There were clashes between protesters and police at Kalamboli where the Mumbai-Pune highway was blocked. The mumbai-Goa highway was also blocked. A number of places witnessed pitched battles between the police and stone-pelters for hours. Protesters pelted stones at police, who resorted to firing in the air. Three policemen, including a superintendent of police, were injured in stone pelting.

Thane also witnessed violent protests and rail rokos. Incidents of stone pelting took place in Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, Dombivali. Thane and Palghar districts saw a complete shutdown of markets. In Thane, police had to lob tear gas shells to dispurse agitators. Around evening, the situation returned to normal.

There were several incidents of road blockades, stone pelting, tyre burning and vandalisation of public transport. People were forced to shut shops in Nalasopara, Ghatkopar, Chembur and other areas. Agitators at Tulinj Road, Nalasopara, beat up shopkeepers. Shops were forced to shut at Nalasopara, Lalbaug, Dadar, Matunga and Parel area.

Posters of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis were torn in parts of Thane. Southbound traffic on the Western Express Highway was blocked.

Thane police commissioner Parambir Singh claimed detention of 20 protesters, who were “up to mischief”. "We have registered offences and so far detained 20 persons. We have also identified some more persons who were involved in mischievous acts," Thane police commissioner Parambir Singh said. The police burst teargas shells to disperse a mob, which went on a rampage at Nitin Junction, he said.

The protesters also tried to bring Mumbai suburban trains to a halt in Thane, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Mankhurd stations. The Thane protest went on for almost 40 minutes. But, at other places, administration stepped in quickly and with the Railway Police's help cleared the routes. Protesters also stormed into Jagruti Nagar metro station but failed to arrest the metro.  

Angry protesters tried to forcefully shut down shops in Dadar, Lalgaug, Parel, Wadala, Ghatkopar, Andheri and some other places. At the same time, some protesters were seen in Bandra and Dindoshi requesting shopkeepers to support the bandh by shutting their shops. In Kalyan Dombivali, where protests were relaxed, protesters later tried to effect a complete ban. The same happened in part of Kurla west also.

In Mumbai, at least 45 locations were affected. The protest also turned violent in Mankhurd. The police detained as many as 447 agitators on Wednesday. The Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai police were in the process of recording multiple cases of rioting and arson based on complaints received. 

Tags: mumbai bandh, maratha community