Rumours were doing the rounds that there may have been political reasons behind the rail roko yesterday, especially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, and other senior functionaries of the BJP were slated to be present in Mumbai. The technical failure in the train at Thakurli had occurred at 6.50 am and three lines had been affected.

Complete coverage: The real reason behind the chaos at Diva railway station

By 7.30 am, one of the lines was repaired and trains were running late by 30 minutes. “By 9 am, the technical failure was addressed and train movement had begun,” said a CR official. However, an hour later, crowds gathered around Diva station and people began going to the tracks and stopping trains. “Local miscreants were seen shouting slogans and jumping onto the tracks to stop trains,” said a police official.

Officials said these people were probably those who had illegal shanties on railway land, where the work on the 5th and 6th lines between Diva and Thane is underway, who are an important vote bank of politicians in the area. Officials said that the mob began targeting long-distance trains as well as fast trains, due to which the motormen had to flee and hide.

Another incident which made the railway police feel that the rail roko was orchestrated was when they got information that miscreants were waiting to target a particular local train inside which the Divisional Railway Manager, Mukesh Nigam, was travelling to inspect the situation at Diva station. While Nigam was asked to turn back, he got off before Diva and walked the last stretch. The train was damaged by 10-12 young boys with iron rods.