Trains Halted, Buses Vandalised Over Bhima Koregaon Violence
Clashes over marking the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district of Maharashtra continued on Tuesday, 2 January, as protesters disrupted suburban and local train services on the Harbour Line in Mumbai.
On 1 January, Dalits from all walks of life were in Bhima Koregaon, about 40 kms from Pune city, to commemorate a 200-year-old battle in which the Dalit-dominated British army defeated Peshwas in Maharashtra.
In a latest development, the central railway suspended suburban services between Kurla and Vashi on its harbour corridor and is running special services between CSMT-Kurla and Vashi-Panvel section. All other services of the central railway are running normally.
Local pro-Dalit groups, like the Republican Party of India (RPI), called for “rasta roko” protests in Bhima Koregaon, Aurangabad, and other parts of Maharashtra, Hindustan Times reported.
The protesters stopped local train services at the Govandi and Chembur railway stations of the Harbour Line.
Central Railway's Chief PRO Sunil Udasi said the agitators came out on tracks and stopped the suburban services, though the railways has nothing to do with the incident.
Buses Vandalised, Vehicular Movement Affected
In the Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, some angry protesters pelted stones at a bus, breaking its window panes, according to sources.
According to Zee News, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation suspended bus services in some areas after violence erupted in Hadapsar and Fursungi.
Bus services in Ahmednagar and Aurangabad districts were suspended. However, later in the day, all bus services from Pune to Ahmednagar resumed.
The police said vehicular movement on the Eastern Express Highway was affected due to the protests in the morning, but resumed normalcy later.
Pro-Dalit protestors stopped traffic on the Sion-Panvel highway near Chembur. The police appealed to people not to panic.