On Tuesday morning, angry autorickshaw drivers pelted stones at vehicles parked at the Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) bus depot in Wagle Estate.
They were protesting the death of autorickshaw driver Rajendra Gupta (27), who was run down by a TMT bus near the depot early in the morning.
They also demanded Rs 15 lakh as compensation for the deceased’s family.
“Around 12.15 am, a truck loaded with iron rods was turning into a bylane. Bus driver Jagdish Yadav (46), who was heading towards the depot, rammed into the rods as he didn’t see them in the dark. Yadav got injured, lost control of the vehicle and hit the rickshaw,” said assistant commissioner of police Vinaykumar Rathod.
Gupta died en route to the hospital.
The bus driver, who got several stitches on his head, is recuperating at Thane Civil Hospital.
“A mob gathered at the depot in the morning and vandalised a bus at the depot and another at Vartaknagar,” said Rathod.
The protest lasted for over three hours. Later the autorickshaw union members, along with Shiv Sena MP Anand Paranjpe, Sena MLA Eknath Shinde, Congress leader Manoj Shinde and NCP leader Niranjan Davkhare, met TMT chairman Sudhakar Chavan.
“Eight to 10 rickshaw drivers have died in similar accidents in the last two-three years. We have written to the TMT several times, but no action was taken. So, we decided to agitate and demand Rs 15 lakh as compensation for the deceased’s family,” said Ekta rickshaw union president Vinayak Surve.
Chavan agreed to pay Rs 2 lakh compensation and give a permanent job to Gupta’s wife, who lives with his parents in Uttar Pradesh. Gupta, who married last year, used to live alone at Lokmanya Nagar.
“The monetary compensation will be paid immediately and we will also help them to claim the accident policy,” he added.
The Shreenagar police arrested autorickshaw drivers Jaiprakash Mishra (30) and Ajit Yadav (26) for damaging public property and are looking for the missing truck driver.