A minor boy was killed in Nanded and several others injured in Mumbai in sporadic incidents of violence which paralysed large parts of Maharashtra during a 10-hour shutdown called by Dalit parties yesterday.
The ‘Maharashtra Bandh’ call was given by Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and other parties, ironically, to protest against Monday’s riots leading to the death of a youth from Nanded in Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district.
District superintendent of police, Chandrakishore Mina, said the victim’s body has been sent for autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of death.
The family of the youth - Yogesh Prahlad Jadhav – claimed he was seriously injured during police caning to clear a roadblock on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said all the incidents of violence across the state shall be probed and appropriate action will be taken against the offenders.
Dalit activists squatted on rail tracks, shouting slogans and waving flags to block train services in the city and suburbs of Mumbai, Thane and Palghar. Security forces ejected them.
Despite the hiccups, the Western Railway, Central Railway and Harbour Line managed to operate services and cleared the rush of stranded commuters. Long-distance trains were not affected.
The Central Railway axed 110 services and Western Railway 60.
Soon after the shutdown call was withdrawn by BBM president Prakash Ambedkar at 4pm, suburban train services limped back to normalcy and helped clear the evening peak hour crowds.
Flight operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport were affected with eight departures and seven arrivals cancelled till evening while several hundred incoming passengers were stranded in the absence of transportation. A few hundred travellers missed catching their flight as they could not reach the airport.
The airport made arrangements for free tea, snacks and water bottles till evening when the situation normalised.
Hundreds of Dalits thronged Dahisar checkpost, the critical entry point to Mumbai, and staged a road blockade, preventing traffic movement in both directions.
Stones were pelted at vehicles in parts of Goregaon, Jogeshwari, Powai, Bhandup, Chembur, Govandi and Andheri East in Mumbai and parts of Navi Mumbai.
Schools and colleges remained open in Mumbai and other parts of the state but most students remained absent.
Aurangabad University rescheduled exams as candidates could not make it to the centres. The University of Mumbai cancelled nine scheduled examinations.
Although many taxi and auto-rickshaw unions supported the shutdown, Mumbai’s suburban trains and BEST (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport) bus services plied with disruptions.
Meanwhile, 48 BEST buses were damaged in stone-pelting incidents in parts of Mumbai and four drivers and conductors injured.
Many shops, eateries and business establishments which opened in the city and suburbs later downed shutters after some restaurants were stoned or vandalised.
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