Mumbai: 84 trains cancelled, 20 buses damaged as Dalit protests rage on

Jan 03, 2018, 09:15 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

Protesters shouting slogans and pelting stones throw public transport in central suburbs in Mumbai off track

Even as agitators went on a rampage, throwing stones at BEST buses and coming out onto the tracks in Chembur
Even as agitators went on a rampage, throwing stones at BEST buses and coming out onto the tracks in Chembur

Public transport was badly hit during Tuesday's protests that followed Monday's clashes in Pune between Dalit and right-wing groups, with protestors throwing stones and stopping trains at various locations multiple times. While 20 BEST buses and a few bus stops were damaged, mostly in Chembur, Deonar and Mulund, state transport minister Diwakar Raote appealed to protestors to refrain from damaging public transport buses.

Affecting Harbour line services
Affecting Harbour line services

CR severely affected
On the road, buses were diverted due to jams. Taxi and auto unions said there was no major damage to vehicles, and many went off roads. As for the railways, Central Railway services on the Harbour line were severely affected throughout the day with more than 84 cancellations till 6 pm. Protestors stopped the Harbour line by throwing stones and holding rail rokos about six times at various locations between Chembur and Kurla stations. Railway officials said the first protest started around 11.44 am, when protestors stopped a Belapur-CSMT train at Chembur station. Train operations were then affected till 12.07 pm and resumed for some time with delays.

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Shopkeepers in Dadar-Naigaon downed their shutters in fear. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar, Ashish Raje
Shopkeepers in Dadar-Naigaon downed their shutters in fear. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar, Ashish Raje

Kept stopping trains
Around 1.30 pm, protestors stopped a Panvel-CSMT train at Govandi station and halted it there till 2.09 pm while shouting slogans. After the train moved ahead, another set of protestors stopped it from 2.12 pm to 3.01 pm between Govandi and Chembur.

On the Panvel-bound line, protestors jumped on the tracks and stopped a Panvel train at Chembur station from 1.53 pm till 4.42 pm. Another group halted a Panvel-CST local at 3.16 pm, just short of Chembur station, till 4.40pm. The same one was later stopped at Kurla by one more group till 5.20 pm.

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