The trader community protested at Pimpri station, disrupting Pune-Mumbai rail route for three hours, protesting against the temporary abattoirs set up near Pimpri Camp
The railway route between Pune and Mumbai was disrupted for three hours on Monday as the trader community of Pimpri area staged a ‘rail roko’ to oppose the temporary slaughterhouse operational for the occasion of Bakri Eid. The angry mob halted a Pune-Lonavla local train between 12 noon and 3 pm, and railway officials were forced to cancel two trains.
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) had given permission to run a slaughterhouse for three days at the open space of Dalco Ltd, behind Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd, which is close to the main market area of Pimpri Camp.
The crowd blocked the tracks at Pimpri railway station for three hours and cops resorted to lathicharge to disperse them. Pic/Shashank Sane
The agitation against the temporary abattoir started on Sunday, when a mob gathered at Sai Chowk, blocking the road during evening. Some organisation working for the protection of cows, such as Goraksha Samiti, also joined the protest. Police tried to intervene, however when the mob refused to vacate the road, they lathicharged the group.
On Monday morning, the mob gathered again, this time at the Pimpri railway station, which is close to the abattoir. The crowd stopped the 12.20 pm local coming to the city from Lonavla, and officials had to cancel the 1.20 pm and 2.40 pm trains from Pune railway station. GRP and RPF personnel were deployed to control the agitators and officials called in additional enforcement from the state reserve police force, anti-riot squad and Rapid Action Force.
At around 3 pm, the mob started pelting stones at the police and in response cops resorted to lathicharge to disperse them from the area. Many agitators and police personnel were injured in the conflict.
After the agitation at the railway tracks, a huge crowd also gathered at the abattoir, where they threw stones at the temporary structure. Additional Commissioner of Police (north), Prakash Mutyal, reached the spot to control the mob. The crowd again gathered at Shagun Chowk, but cops dispersed them from the area.
Police Commissioner Satish Mathur, Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar, Additional Commissioner (crime) Dr Shahaji Solunke, Deputy commissioner of Police (north) Rajendra Mane and Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajendra Bhamare, reached the spot to assess the situation.
According to the trader community, the civic body had not taken any measures to control pollution generated from the slaughterhouse.
“Our community is against the slaughtering of cows. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and National Green Tribunal should stay the functioning of the slaughterhouse, as the PCMC has not taken any measures to control pollution. They should take objection as it is violating the River Restricted Zones (RRZ). We fail to understand why the civic body had given permission for the slaughterhouse,” said Dilip Jain, a local trader.
However, PCMC Commissioner, Rajiv Jadhav said that they have taken all the permissions required for running the temporary slaughterhouse. “We have taken permission from the MPCB and there is no restriction from any authority for running the slaughterhouse on a temporary basis. The arrangement was only for three days.”
Meanwhile, DCP Sarang Awad has released a statement appealing to citizens to maintain peace. “An imaginary and malicious SMS about cow slaughtering at Pimpri is under circulation to disturb peace and tranquillity of the city. Do not believe or forward the message. Delete it and help police in maintaining peace.”