What started as the 200th anniversary of the Maratha battle on the 1st January 1818 turned into a communal clash and bandh in 2018.
Normal life was disrupted on Tuesday as protests spread across Mumbai due to clashes between the Dalit and Maratha communities, a day after caste-based violence during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune. Following the clashes between Dalit and Maratha communities and protests thereafter, traffic came to a standstill on Eastern expressway, Sion-Panvel Highway and Chembur Naka were worst affected, shops were shut down in many regions of Mumbai as protesters stopped traffic.
LIVE UPDATES OF MUMBAI LOCAL TRAIN STATUS AND TRAFFIC JAMS
8:52 AM: A rail roko was staged by some of the protesters at the Thane railway station but were immediately cleared by RPF and GRP officials. “Services are running uninterrupted on Central Railway as of now,” says CPRO Central Railway.
8:45 AM: The trains are running fine and at their respective timings, a Twitter user reported. A rail roko protest was earlier reported at the Thane station.
8:38 AM: 8:35 AM: The trains and bus services are not expected to run normally due to Maharashtra Bandh today. The protesters have stopped the Mumbai local at the Thane station.
8:29 AM: The protesters have halted a train in Thane railway station. Section 144 has been imposed in Thane till January 4 midnight due to protests.
8:21 AM: The protesters are staging a ‘Rail Roko’ at the Thane station.
7:58 AM: Mumbai Local trains have been stopped from Thane platform no 2, a Twitter user reported.
Mumbai local trains were halted due to protests over Bhima Koregaon violence. The central railway suspended suburban services between Kurla and Vashi and ran special services between CSMT-Kurla and Vashi-Panvel section. By the late evening, CSMT-Panvel harbor line services were restored. Central Railway’s Sunil Udasi said the protestors stobbed the suburban services as they came out on tracks even though the railways have nothing to do with the incident.
The maximum impact likely to be seen in eastern suburbs of Ghatkopar, Chembur, Tilak Nagar, Mulund area. In western suburbs, Bandra, Kherwadi, and Dahisar are likely to be affected most. Worli, Dadar, Sion area in the island city are also affected. The Maharashtra Bandh protest is likely to pick up after 10 AM and up to 3 PM.
The protests across Mumbai, over the clashes during Bhima Koregaon battle celebrations, resulted in massive vehicular snarls. However, the local trains and traffic movement resumed after Mumbai Police intervened. Low-cost carrier IndiGo also issued an advisory which said, “Request you to please plan your travel in advance to avoid any hassles while boarding. We’ll be providing change and cancellation fee waiver for flights to and from Mumbai for Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Similar agitation was staged in Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Dhule, Beed, Nashik, Pune, Solapur, Thane and Palghar. The protesters, including women and children, staged a rasta roko in Koregaon-Bhima on the Ahmednagar road. The protesters also stopped traffic on Sion-Panvel Highway. Till 7:30 PM in the evening, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar was kept blocked by the protesters. The police have been deployed in the Ramabai area in view of the protests across the city.
BANDH EFFECT ON AIRPORTS
Domestic carriers, including the government-owned Air India, have waived charges for ticket cancellations and no-show due to the ongoing unrest in parts of Maharashtra.
Air India said it will not charge any fee for cancellation of tickets or rescheduling of a journey to/from Mumbai on January 2 and 3.
Air India has decided to waive ticket cancellation/rescheduling charges for its flights to and from Mumbai for Tuesday and Wednesday, a senior airline official said.
Private carrier Jet Airways has extended the waiver to its customers until today, i.e, January 3.
“Due to the ongoing unrest in Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Pune, Jet Airways has extended the waiver for travel date January 3, 2018. Hence, date/flight change, refund, no-show penalties and fare difference if any, are waived off on all the confirmed tickets issued for flights into/out of Mumbai, Pune, and Aurangabad for travel date January 3, 2018,” Jet Airways said in a statement tonight.
Budget carrier IndiGo said it will be providing change and cancellation fee waiver for flights to and from Mumbai and also Pune for Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We will be providing change and cancellation fee waiver for flights to and from Mumbai for today,” IndiGo informed its passengers in a tweet.
However, IndiGo, in a statement later said, it has extended the waiver on the cancellation fee and no show for today as well for flights to and from Mumbai and also Pune.