Railways protest
Representational picture

People protesting the demolition of two illegal buildings in Navi Mumbai held up trains on the Central Railway, between Thane and Airoli railway stations. They protested on the tracks as they believed this would yield them a quick response by concerned authorities. But the Central Railway has said they will take strict action if train services are disrupted this way. The Government Railway Police of Thane has registered a case and arrested 26 people.

Also read - Thane: Slum dwellers hit the tracks to protest demolition drive

According to sources from the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), there are 101 buildings in Digha, of which 97 are on MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) land and 4 are on CIDCO land. Sources say many of these buildings are illegal. On June 26, 2015 two PILs were filed in the Bombay High Court, by activists Mayura Maru and Rajiv Mishra, on this issue.

The HC yesterday ordered that two of the illegal buildings be vacated and then handed over to MIDC, for demolition. People were asked to vacate their residences.

Dr K Gaikwad, the encroachment official of NMMC said, “The drive was carried out by MIDC. We provided domestic support.”

The 100 or so residents decided to protest on tracks. The GRP, along with RPF, arrested 24 women and 2 men, with the city police. “All the arrested people were booked under the Indian Railway Act. Trains were blocked between 1:33pm and 1:55pm on Monday,” said a senior officer from Thane GRP.

“We will take strict action against people who try to disrupt railway services,” said the CPRO, Central Railway.