Curfew in parts of Navi Mumbai

Some areas of Navi Mumbai township were placed under curfew after violence continued there for the third consecutive day today, police said.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 21:39 IST

Some areas of Navi Mumbai township were placed under curfew after violence continued there for the third consecutive day on Saturday, police said.

Trouble in the township, some 60 kms from here, which started between residents of Ghansoli village and 'Mathadi' workers (porters) following alleged molestation of a village girl by Mathadis on the day of Holi, has now spread to other areas of Navi Mumbai, police said.

Protestors attempted to create trouble in front of the house of state Excise Minister Ganesh Naik at Bonkawade village this afternoon, after which police burst tear gas shells and cane-charged the violent crowd that reportedly refused to disperse.

A violent crowd on Friday stormed the Nerul police station and attacked three policemen, while on Saturday a group of people stormed the Koparkhairane police post of Rabale police station. In both cases, police resorted to cane-charge to disperse the agitators.

Prior to that, the crowd torched several vehicles and damaged some others, including TV OB vans, and with sporadic incidents of violence continuing in other parts of the town, a curfew was imposed in and around Koparkhairane, police added.

Sources said shops and other establishments remained closed for the third day on Saturday, causing inconvinience to common public.

While suburban train services on the Harbour line were not affected by the violence, municipal bus services have been suspended to Koparkhairane following the violence and subsequent curfew, police said.

The quarrel has now taken shape of a conflict between the 'natives' and 'outsiders', sources said.

Native villagers whose land was acquired by government to set up the Navi Mumbai township, are at loggerheads with Mathadi workers and other 'outsiders' for allegedly depriving employment opportunities to the locals, they added.

Presence of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) has caused no detering effect on the agitators, who are congregating in small groups to target police and passing vehicles, police sources said.

Navi Mumbai Police commissioner Vijay Kamble and SRPF DIG Parambir Singh are camping in the trouble-hit areas.

Three persons were killed, two of them in police firing, when Ghansoli residents and Mathadi workers clashed two days ago, prompting the police to open fire. At least 25 policemen, including a DCP and two Inspectors, were injured and are hospitalised.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 21:39 IST