Maharashtra bandh: Protests in Thane turn violent, cops use tear gas to disperse mob
Protesters stop autos, block roads in Thane and Kalyan, hold rail roko at Thane station; one agitator critically injured after getting hit on the head by a stone.Updated: Jul 25, 2018 16:49 IST
Maratha protests in Thane were centred in around the railway station on Wednesday. However, the agitation, which started off without much violence, took an ugly turn in the afternoon, with protestors hurling stones at cops and the police resorting to lathicharge and lobbing tear gas to disperse the mob. One protester and one policeman were injured in the clashes.
“One of the protesters was hit on the head by a stone and got fits. He has been shifted to Thane civil hospital and he is in a critical condition. We are yet to establish his identity. Following the stone-pelting, we fired four tear gas near Nitin Company to bring the situation under control,” said an officer from the Thane police commissionerate, requesting anonymity.
Incidents of stone pelting and tyre burning were also reported from several other parts of the city.
In the morning, hundreds of protesters staged a rail roko on platform number 2 and 5, disrupting suburban train services for a while. Suresh Nair, station director, Thane, said: “A few people staged a protest on platforms number 2 and 5 at Thane station. We detained them immediately and resumed services.”
The mob also forcefully stopped TMT buses near the station premises, as well as downed the shutters of shops at Jambli Naka market and Charai.
In Kalyan, hundreds of protesters gathered at Shivaji Chowk, leading to major traffic congestion.
“There was no violence, but traffic is badly affected in Kalyan. The protest is at the busy Shivaji Chowk has caused major congestion in the entire city,” said Prashant Nikam, 32, from Kalyan.
Both in Thane and Kalyan agitators stopped autos before they could reach the stations. At Thane station, there were no autos at the auto stand, leading to long queues.
Archana Mulick, 38, said she waited for over an hour for an auto at Gaondevi market in Thane. “After finally getting an auto, protesters assaulted the auto driver and forcefully stopped the vehicle so I had to walk all the way home,” she said.
Later, agitators blocked roads at Teen Hath Naka on the Eastern Express Highway and at Nitin Company junction, disrupting traffic.
Protesters were seen heading to malls in Thane city to close them down.
“We have alerted all policemen at check points to be alert. As of now, there have been complaints of people pelting stones on buses, shops being vandalised and autos being stopped forcefully. We are also keeping a tab on those spreading rumours,” said the officer.