At least eight policemen were injured while tackling the violent mob.
Mumbai: Navi Mumbai saw the suspension of internet services on Thursday, after the city witnessed intense violence on Wednesday during the Mumbai bandh, asking for reservation for the Maratha community.
The police said that services were suspended till Thursday noon, to quell rumour-mongering after provocative messages on internet-based applications were circulated, first in Kalamboli, then in Kopar Khairane on Wednesday night, hours after the two areas saw incidents of arson and rampage by members of the Mathadi community. Meanwhile, the Thane police arrested former Shiv Sena corporator Sharad Kanase for instigating a violent mob at Wagle Estate, said the spokesperson for Thane police.
The police have registered cases of rioting and arson and have detained several protestors based on videos, captured on CCTV cameras and by the media. At least eight policemen were injured while tackling the violent mob.
The Navi Mumbai Police said that at first the stretch near Vashi toll plaza was blocked, and later the vital Kalamboli junction was taken over to hold up traffic to Pune. The police had to fire in the air, use rubber bullets and tear gas shells to clear the stretches.
Meanwhile, the Thane police filed nine FIRs and arrested 36 persons in connection with mob violence at Nitin Junction in Thane (west) in which three policemen were injured.
"Everything was brought under control and the crowd was retreating, when heavy violence broke out and there was a mass rampage in Kopar Khairane area near Vashi. Mathadi workers had allegedly been instigated by some internet forwards. All vehicles parked on the roads were targeted and many were set ablaze. The mob comprised villagers," said a police inspector attached with a Navi Mumbai police station. To avoid a repeat of Wednesday's violent scenario, internet services were suspended in Vashi, Kalamboli, Kopar Khairane and Taloja that also affected services in Shil Phata area, including Palava City.
The police said that the agitators gathered on Sion-Panvel highway and other roads at 11 locations on Wednesday. Vashi toll naka and Kalamboli junctions were the two main points for the agitation where over 2,000 protesters gathered and sloganeered against the government.
"Agitators turned violent at Kalamboli junction and Kopar Khairane. They pelted stones and burned police cars. The police had to use force and fire teargas shells, grenades and baton-charge the protestors. We also fired shotgun bullets to disperse the violent agitators and to free the roads that were blocked for over six hours," said Hemant Nagrale, commissioner of police, Navi Mumbai." As many as eight police officers, 12 policemen and seven civilians were injured in a lathicharge, firing of shotgun rounds. The duo who was inju-red in the pump action and rubber bullet firing at Kala-mboli junction were identified as Narayan Gayake, 25, a resident of New Panvel and Datta-traya Waghmare, 32, a resident of Pimpri-Chinc-hwad, who is a container driver. Waghmare has undergone a surgery and is critical.
The Navi Mumbai police fired 40 rounds of shotgun, 22 rubber bullets, 42 teargas shells and 11 teargas grenades to disperse violent mob. Meanwhile, the Thane police filed nine FIRs and arrested 36 persons in connection with mob violence at Nitin Junction in Thane (west) in which three policemen were injured. “The accused have been booked for rioting and assault and were produced before a local court that remanded in judicial custody," said Sukhada Narkar, Thane police spokesperson. The Nanded Police registered a case against unknown agitators after a picture went viral showing a policeman in uniform being stamped.
The police are on the lookout for the accused.