Dalit groups on Wednesday evening called off the state-wide bandh which brought Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra to a grinding halt. Suburban local services were hit repeatedly on all three lines, road traffic stalled at various key traffic junctions and shops and establishments in very large parts of the suburbs were completely closed through the day. Mumbai Police said roads have been cleared and traffic has resumed.
On Monday, at least three lakh members of the Dalit community had gathered in villages around Bhima Koregaon near Pune to attend an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon. There, Dalits clashed with members of the Maratha group, resulting in the death of a 30-year-old youth. Several others were also injured. On Tuesday, members of the Dalit community staged protests in Mumbai, Pune and at least nine other districts in the state, calling for action against the Marathas, alleging they were targeted on Monday.
Follow Maharashtra bandh highlights:
10:30 pm: Mumbai Police registers six more FIRs in connection with the protests. This brings the total number of cases registered to 15. The FIRs have been registered under various sections of the Maharashtra Police Act, Defacement of Public Property, Criminal Amendment Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The figures of the cases registered are also likely to go up.
5:47 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Inquiry will be conducted in the incidents of violence that took place across Maharashtra. We are monitoring the CCTV footage of the violence,” acoording to ANI.
5:44 pm: Dalit groups called off the state-wide bandh in Maharashtra Wednesday evening that led to a near-complete shutdown Mumbai even as suburban local services were hit repeatedly on all three lines, road traffic stalled at various key traffic junctions and shops and establishments in very large parts of the suburbs completely closed through the day.
5:01 pm: All roads have been cleared, traffic has been restored. Protesters move away from Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar in Ghatkopar on Eastern Express Highway.
5:00 pm: Metro services to resume soon.
4:40 pm: Prakash Ambedkar held a press conference during which he said that they have called off the bandh.
4:22 pm: Central railways PRO says, “All paths now clear on Central Railway. Services are being normalised. No need to panic, we are committed to ensure smooth operations of trains.”
4:15 pm: Here is a list of some of the congestion places as of now.
1. Mela Junction
2. Worli Naka
3. Malet / Orange Gate Junction.
1.Sion Junction matunga
5. Mankhurd T Junction Govandi
1.Kamani jn kurla
2.Shreyas Junction Ghatkopar
3 Gandhinagar Ghatkopar
1.IIT Powai maingate
1.IOC junction mankhurd
3.Tunnel after bhaktipark
Akurli road & Samta nager
4:03 pm: “There has been no death of a person from Dalit community. Wrong messages are being spread on social media, people have to be very cautious. The situation overall is peaceful in Maharashtra,” ANI quoted MoS, Home Rural Deepak Kesarkar as saying.
3:50 pm: Meanwhile, Western Railway train has stuck again between Marine Lines and Churchgate.
3:49 pm: Ghatkopar path have been cleared now. Central railways PRO says “Services are being normalised. No need to panic… we are committed to ensure smooth operations of trains.”
3:40 pm: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Jo organised tareeke se Maharashtra ke andar hinsa karai jaa rahi hai aur jis prakar ke bhashan diye gaye hain, ek baar uss taraf bhi neta-pratipaksh thoda dhyan dein.”
3:36 pm: However, condemning Ravi Shankar Prasad’s statement, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We condemn the statement by Law Minister, that we are raising Bhima Koregaon violence issue to stall Triple Talaq Bill. We have been raising the issue of Dalit atrocities as this govt is anti-Dalit.”
3:35 pm: As opposition raised issue of Bhima Koregaon violence in rajya Sabha, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “This issue is being raised deliberately so that Triple Talaq Bill can be stalled,” according to ANI.
3:23 pm: Here are some more photos of today’s protests:
3:09 pm: Ghodbunder road towards Gaimukh and Ahmedabad is completely jammed. Only trucks are lined up on the road. Heavy containers, supply truck stopped on Ghodbunder road.
3:08 pm: Ghatkopar trains are still shut. People are walking on the tracks.
3:07 pm: International airport spokesperson says flights are taking off and landing on time. Crew is reporting late due to the ongoing protests. He said passengers have option to stay inside.
3:06 pm: Western Railway has tweeted: Protestors evacuated from tracks and train operations resumed at 14.10hrs and 14.20hrs at Goregaon. Suburban and long distance services bring operated among intermittent protests at some stations in the suburban section.
Protestors evacuated from tracks & train operations resumed at 14.10hrs & 14.20hrs at Goregaon. Suburban & Long Distance services bring operated among intermittent protests at some stations in the suburban section @drmbct @rpfwrbct
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) January 3, 2018
2:54 pm: Protesters also burnt police bikes at Pawoi, Milind Nagar.
2:52 pm: A mob of protesters had stalled traffic at Andheri west’s infinity mall. Police officials say the protesters have dispersed. Traffic resumes.
2:50 pm: Paanch Rasta in Mulund West finally cleared. Protesters had started assembling here since 9:30am.
2:26 pm: An announcement has been made on harbour line stations: Train towards CSMT stuck near Mankhurd station. All up and down lines affected again.
2:17 pm: We will show you some scenes from a train stuck between two stations.
2:15 pm: Western Railway tweeted: Protestors have stopped a train on Up local line (towards Churchgate) at Goregaon from about 13.40 hrs. All efforts are being made to evacuate them from the tracks.
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) January 3, 2018
2.15 pm: Lok Sabha witnessed uproar today as MPs raised the Bhima Koregaon clashes and protests in Maharashtra today. The Congress is demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi break his silence on the issue. “PM should give a statement, he can’t stay mum! He is a mauni baba (mute spectator) on such issues!” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said in the House. For more updates from Parliament, click here.
1.57 pm: Mumbai University has issued a notification allowing students, unable to attend exams between 3 and 6 pm today, to take them at a later date.
1.55 pm: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale says, “Police must have acted if Jignesh Mevani’s speech was instigating. But he has no relation with this incident.” A complaint was earlier lodged against Jignesh Mevani for making provocative statements at the event on Monday.
1.44 pm: Updates from Pune: There seems to be a mixed response to the state-wide bandh in this city, with some commercial establishments remaining closed and some functioning. There were sporadic stone-pelting incidents reported from parts of the city, including Pimpri. Protestors pelted stones at buses, hotels and shops. Prohibitory orders are imposed Pune rural, while in Koregaon Bhima, Vadhu Budruk, Sanaswadi remain peaceful.
1.25 pm: In case you’re just joining us, here’s an update on what’s happening in Maharashtra: Transport has taken a hit in Mumbai and other parts of the state as Dalit protestors hold ‘rasta rokho’ demonstrations today. Trains in Goregaon, Virar, Thane and other suburban services have been stalled, despite authorities trying to maintain calm and restore operations. There are fewer than usual autos and taxis on the roads today as well. Many shops were forced to close. School children and office-goers stayed home too.
12.46 pm: Suburban services of the AC local have been cancelled, the Western Railways confirms in a tweet.
Remaining services of AC local suspended for the day in view of protests.Other suburban services are being run amid intermittent protests at Elphinstone Rd,Goregaon,Dadar, Malad.There is no cancellation of Long Distance trains. Pls don’t rely on rumours. Follow official updates.
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) January 3, 2018
12.43 pm: The examinations at Mumbai University have been affected due to the protests. The university have issued a notification to allow students to arrive at their examination centres late, in view of the transportation problems. They have been allowed to arrive at least 1-2 hours late.
12.20 pm: With rail and road movement affected, we’ve compiled a list of routes in Mumbai to avoid right now. The Eastern Expressway has been blocked, and traffic is being diverted. The Mumbai Police has appealed to people to avoid taking the route at the moment. The police has also asked people to avoid Worli Naka, and to use the Worli sea face road instead.
Meanwhile, here’s a short clip of protestors blocking the Gandhi Nagar Junction in Kanjurmarg in Mumbai today.
#MaharashtraBandh Protesters block Gandhi Nagar Junction in Kanjurmarg. (??by Sagar Rajput)
12.10 pm: In Thane, where protests have intensified, some commuters have been injured after a state bus was vandalised. Meanwhile, protestors in Mumbai are removing all BJP hoardings and pictures of local MLAs.
12.09 pm: Security has been heightened outside the Maharashtra Sadan.
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
11.59 am: The Catholics Bishops’ Conference of India has condemned the violence against Dalits and appealed for peace and harmony in Maharashtra. “We are saddened by the disturbing reports of an uncalled for attack on Dalits in Pune, Maharashtra,” it states in a press released.
11.50 am: Inter-state bus services from Karnataka to Maharashtra have been temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure, reports ANI.
11.45 am: Taking to Twitter, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha condemns the violence in Maharashtra. He appeals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take immediate action to “assuage” the feelings of the Dalit community. He tweets, “Strongly condemn events leading to the eruption of violence & disruption of normal life in Maharashtra. Opposition to celebrations by the Dalit community commemorating a momentous episode in their history was uncalled for & instigated a violent reaction & unnecessary friction. Society & Govt must work towards becoming more sensitive & tolerant. My humble request to the Hon’ble PM @narendramodi & the dashing Maharashtra CM to take immediate steps to assuage the feelings of the Dalit community & bring the situation under control & to normalcy. Jai Hind!”
11.41 am: Train services are being disrupted across Mumbai right now. Protestors are blocking trains at Govandi and Chembur railways stations. Trains going towards CSMT have been stalled. Trains on the Harbour line, too, have been stopped. Meanwhile, metro services between Asalpha and Ghatkopar has been stopped. However, trains between Airport Road and Versova seems to be running on schedule. In Thane, protestors have blocked the entry to the railways station; clashes with the police are also being reported.
11.33 am: In Pune, meanwhile, Dalit groups are marching from Mula Road on the Pune-Mumbai highway towards the residence of Milind Ekbote, 60, of Samast Hindu Aghadi. Yesterday, the police had registered a criminal case against Ekbote.
11.12 am: At least 13 BEST buses have been damaged due to stone-pelting. Protestors are staging rasta rokho agitations at Bandra Kalanagar, Dharavi Kumbharwada, Kamraj Nagar, Santoshnagar Dindoshi and Hanuman Nagar Kandivali. Road traffic has been affected due to this.
11.10 am: Suburban train services on Central Railway, Mumbai Division’s Main line, Harbour and Transharbour lines are running without disruptions. There were brief agitations at Diwa, Titwala and Vasind, but authorites were able to bring the situation under control, the CPRO of Central Railways says.
11.06 am: In a tweet, the Western Railways says a large number of protestors occupied railway tracks at Nallasopara Station this morning, disrupting rail traffic. The administration and security forces are currently taking efforts to normalise operations.
10.46 am: In Parliament, MPs of several parties have issued adjournment motions over the Bhima Koregaon violence. In the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has issues notice under Rule 56, while in the Rajya Sabha, MP Rajni Patel has moved it under Rule 267. Follow LIVE UPDATES from Parliament here.
10.36 am: An advisory has been issued to commuters travelling to the airport, to leave well in advance. The Mumbai Police has also advised keeping in view the likely traffic congestions/diversions enroute to the airport.
10.30 am: At the moment, there are protests being staged at the following places: Below Akurli bridge in Kandivali, Dindoshi near Santosh Naga, Kamraj Nagar, MIDC near Vijay Nagar (Jogeshwari), Arunkumar Vaidya Marg (Dindoshi Kumbharwada Junction). There are also traffic snarls reported from Worli Naka, Kherwadi Junction, Kalanagar and MMRDA Junction.
10.10 am: In case you’re just joining us, here’s a quick update on what’s happening in Maharashtra. Dalit groups have called for a bandh across the state, in response to clashes which broke out on Monday with members of the Maratha community. Protestors are staging a rasta rokho (block the route) protest in parts of the city, including Thane, Goregaon and Virar. There is heavy deployment of police in the city, to ensure the situation remains calm. There are very few taxis and autos plying in the city, due to the bandh. Follow our blog for all the latest news, traffic updates and political reactions coming in.
10.03 am: Train in the Pune division are running as per scheduled, confirms Divisional Security Commissioner D Vikas. There is security in place to ensure the situation remains normal, he adds, reports ANI.
9.57 am: Since last night, Uber and Ola taxis have not been plying in Mumbai. Shivani Tripathi, who works at Goregaon’s Nesco IT park, tells The Indian Express, “I have been trying to look for a cab since half an hour to reach office. Cab services on Ola are not available.” A resident of Andheri, Tripathi says that even autos on road are very few.
9.44 am: Social media is being closely monitored, a senior official tells The Indian Express. He adds that WhatsApp was used to spread hate messages and gather protestors on Tuesday. “Application-based messenger services like WhatsApp played a crucial role in spreading hate messages and seeking support of the protesters to join in the protest,” he said. In some areas, such as Aurangabad, Pune (Rural) and Ratnagiri, internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure.
9.35 am: Trains were halted at Virar and Goregaon stations this morning for around half an hour, but later resumed, according to the Western Railways PRO. Protesters have been staging a ‘rasta rokho andolan‘ since Tuesday.
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) January 3, 2018
9.30 am: Meanwhile, in Pune, buses heading towards Satara and Baramati have been stopped, according to ANI. They will resume only after further orders. Yesterday, members of the Maratha community had held protests in Pune against the clashes on Monday.
9.26 am: The protests seem to be turning violent in Thane. We’re getting information that incidents of stone-pelting at buses, autorickshaws and other vehicles are taking place. Right now, Section 144 (which bans the assembly of a group of people) has been imposed in Thane. The police are detained people in the district.
9.23 am: The MSRTC PRO clarifies that all its buses are plying in Maharashtra today. “All our buses are plying across the state so far. In case of any vandalism we will take a call. So far there have been no incidents.” Yesterday, at least 11 state buses, including MSRTC and PMPML were damaged.
9.16 am: Around 30 companies of the State Reserved Police Force has been deployed across the state today. The Riot Control Police (RCP) has been pressed in Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad, among other districts.
9.12 am: The Mumbai Police has issued an advisory to residents to refrain from believing or spreading rumours. It adds, “Don’t believe or spread rumors, continue with your routine activities. Police administration is geared up to deal with any untoward situation.”
9.09 am: Traffic update: Despite some agitation at Santosh Nagar Nala, Hanuman Nagar bus stop, Filmcity Road and Dindosh, traffic has not been affected. Many children and officegoers have decided to skip school/office today in light of the bandh in Mumbai, especially people who live in the western suburbs. Further, many private schools have closed due to low attendance and because school buses are not plying.
9.06 am: Mumbai’s famous dabbawala association has decided not to work today, in light of the situation in the city. Speaking to ANI, head of the association Subhash Talekar said ensuring transportation and delivery of the tiffins on time is difficult due to the bandh.
9.02 am: So far, nine cases have been registered by the Mumbai Police. Since Monday night, over 100 people have been detained in connection with the protests in the city.
— Rashmi Rajput (@RashmiRajput123) January 3, 2018
8.57 am: Section 144 has been imposed in Thane, according to ANI.
8.52 am: A train at Thane railway station was briefly halted after protestors came onto the tracks to block its movement. Around 50-60 people had gathered to stall servies, which were later resumed. “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,” the CPRO Central Railway said.
8.27 am: We’ve compiled a list of areas in Mumbai which were affected by the protests on Tuesday. The worst affected routes were through Chembur and the Sion Panvel Highway. While a call for a bandh has been issued on Wednesday as well, here are some areas which may be clogged.
8.16 am: Chembur wears a deserted look today. Shops remain closed, while few pedestrians are seen on the streets. On Tuesday, protestors had held a ‘rasta rokho andolan’ at Chembur station, stalling trains and forcing shops outside the station to down their shutters.
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
8.14 am: In the wake of the call for a bandh in Mumbai today, Anil Garg, from the School Bus Owner’s Association says school buses won’t run in the city today. “Can’t risk students’ safety and security. Will take a second decision at 11 am if we can run them in the second half, depending on the situation,” he is quoted as saying by ANI. There are around 40,000 school buses under the ambit of the SBOA.
7.57 am: The police on Tuesday had filed a criminal case against two pro-Hindutva leaders under sections of the IPC for attempt to murder, rioting and sections of the Prevention of Atrocities Act. The leaders are Milind Ekbote, 60, of Samast Hindu Aghadi and Sambhaji Bhide, 85, of Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan. Ekbote, formerly a corporator, said the case against him was “completely false.”
7.46 am: Maharashra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday had sought a judicial probe “by a sitting judge,” and announced Rs 10 lakh as compensation for the kin of the youth — identified as Rahul Phatangade — who was killed on Monday. Fadnavis had said, “A sitting High Court judge will head the inquiry and the youth’s death would be probed by the CID,” reported PTI.
7.30 am: Additional forces of the Maharashtra police has been kept on standby today, as Dalit leaders have called for a state-wide bandh. In some areas, internet services may be suspended to curb rumours from spreading through social media. The police may invoke prohibitory orders if needed. Speaking to The Indian Express DGP Satish Mathur said, “We have made elaborate arrangements to keep the situation under control in view of the bandh. Extra forces have been kept on standby. Some areas have been identified where internet could be suspended so people cannot spread rumours on social media.”
In pictures | Dalit protests hit Maharashtra
7.14 am: On Tuesday, members of the Dalit community took to the streets in protest of the violence on January 1, alleging they were targeted by the Maratha community. State buses were damaged in yesterday’s protests; at least 11 buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and the Pune Municipal Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) were damaged.
7.00 am: Dalit groups have called for a state-wide bandh today, while the the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has sought a debate in the Rajya Sabha over the incident. Follow our live blog through the day for news and updates.
(With inputs from Express News Service and agencies)
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