Mumbai: The dalit protesters called for a Maharashtra ‘Bandh’ when protests broke out in Mumbai on Monday and was observed on Tuesday the whole day. While some people did get up and go to their offices, many chose to stay back and stay safe. Schools and Colleges remained shut for the day to avoid any mishappenings.
The protesters later forced shops to shut down in areas around Mumbai. The worst hit areas were Kanjurmarg, Chembur, Ghatkopar & Thane. Apart from these, Andheri, Lower Parel and other suburban areas were also affected by the protests. Protests were extended to ‘Rasta Roko’ (Road Jam) and ‘Rail Roko’ (Railway Jam) agitation.
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The protests-turned-riots became a huge concern for the the Mumbai Police as they did not get enough time to prepare for the worst. Although Mumbai Police claimed to be completely prepared for the worst, it still looked like they were short of forces compared to the protesters. This can be concluded with a disturbing video shot by our Editor at Kanjurmarg railway station where a cops was misbehaved with, and manhandled by the protesters. Not just that, a train motorman was also manhandled but later released.
Trains stopped and #police behaved with, at #kanjurmarg railway station…train driver also misbehaved with…situation not under control there…#policeforce required@CPMumbaiPolice @MumbaiPolice @Dev_Fadnavis #MaharashtraBandh #MumbaiPolice #MumbaiBandh pic.twitter.com/dBlWwT0Nbo
— Ajanta News (@AjantaNews) January 3, 2018
The protesters blocked both the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway with their ‘Rasta Roko’ strategy by sitting on the roads. The entire area around Ghatkopar was blocked along with the Metro services being hit majorly. The lifeline of Mumbai on the Harbour line saw delays and was adversely affected due to ‘rail roko’ agitation. Buses from Karnataka to Mumbai were suspended along with suspending transport to Pune and Satara.
The internet services in Aurangabad were suspended to prevent from rumours or any other riot related news being spread. Stones were pelted on school buses and BEST buses along with other vehicles. Schools, colleges and offices were shut down along with the shops in Mumbai. The entire city came to a standstill.
The protests then broke out in Maharashtra Sadan all the way in Delhi. The protest was mostly led by the students of JNU and some people of IFTU.
The Maharashtra Bandh issue was raised in the Lok Sabha with the two major parties BJP and Congress blaming each other for the violence in Maharashtra. The Parliamentarians debated and played the blame game by politicizing the issue further rather than solving it. The opposition demanded a statement on the issue from the PM Narendra Modi. The Caste Clash has resulted in the Right wing blaming the Left wing and vice versa.
While the RSS has denied any involvement in the caste clash, the state waits for an answer from it’s CM Devendra Fadnavis as well as PM Narendra Modi.
The protests in the Maharashtra Bandh were called off at around 4.38 p.m. by Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar.
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While the protest has been withdrawn leaving a 48 Best buses damaged and a loss to public properties, the question still remains. Is the Maharashtra Bandh just a caste clash or a political ploy??
Inquiry will be conducted in the incidents of violence that took place across Maharashtra. We are monitoring the CCTV footage of the violence: CM Devendra Fadnavis #BhimaKoregaonViolence pic.twitter.com/DNqzPHPC0Y
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018