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Day after bandh, Mumbai back on its feet, but police remain on high alert

Public transport back to normal;Mumbaiites resume their routines; tight security in the eastern suburbs

mumbai Updated: Jan 04, 2018 15:12 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra bandh,Dalit protests,Mumbai
There was heavy police presence at Dalit-dominated Ramabai Nagar in Ghatkopar on the day of the bandh (in pic) as well as a day later.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)

A day after Maharashtra bandh brought life to a standstill in Mumbai, the city was back on its feet on Thursday, with all commercial establishments, educational institutions and offices functioning as usual, and public transport operating smoothly.

The police, however, remained on alert to prevent any fresh incidents of violence. “I have directed all policemen to remain on high alert and also safeguard statues across the state,” Satish Mathur, Maharashtra’s director general of police, told HT. “Night patrolling will be increased, and we will detain anti-social elements.”

Security remained tight in the city’s eastern suburbs of Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kanjurmarg, Vikhroli and Mulund, which faced the brunt of Wednesday’s shutdown. There was also heavy police presence in the Dalit-dominated Ramabai Nagar in Ghatkopar.

The police said they are also keeping an eye on the city through CCTV cameras.

Around noon, a handful of protesters staged rail roko at Thane station, halting trains for around five minutes, but they were removed from the tracks immediately.

Brijesh Singh, who commutes from Kalyan to Dadar every day, said trains were packed to capacity: “It hardly seemed that there was a bandh yesterday; everything is normal today.”

Sunil Parmar, who owns an utensils store at Parel, said all shops were open in the area. “It is like any normal day,” he said.

The police have registered 16 FIRs for unlawful assembly and vandalism, and detained over 300 protesters for Wednesday’s protests. “The accused are booked under various sections under Maharashtra Police Act, Defacement of Public Property, Criminal Amendment Act and the Indian Penal Code,” said Sachin Patil,spokesperson for the Mumbai police. At least 29 policemen sustained minor injuries during face-offs with protesters on Wednesday.

Dalit outfits had declared a statewide bandh on Wednesday, following violence in Pune that led to the death of a 28-year-old man. The community took to the streets in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane, staging rail rokos, blocking roads, closing shops and holding demonstrations, which led to a complete lockdown.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 13:02 IST