MNS boards local trains, stages agitation for reopening of services
The railways said train services were not affected due to the agitation by MNS workersUpdated: Sep 21, 2020, 11:12 IST
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers on Monday morning staged an agitation over their demand to resume the operations of suburban trains --- the lifeline of Mumbai – for the public amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
MNS workers boarded trains at five railway stations in a bid to defy the travel ban imposed by the Maharashtra government because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Police stopped agitators in places like Dombivli and Thane.
MNS leader Avinash Jadhav and his supporters were stopped at the entrance of the Thane station and later taken to the Naupada police station.
MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande, who travelled by a train, said it’s high time the state government resumed the suburban rail operations for the public.
“The local trains are the lifeline of Mumbai. The government must allow the public to travel by suburban trains. This trip was an attempt to send this message to the government,” said Deshpande. “When the buses have started operating in full capacity, it makes no sense to restrict travel by trains. People are spending hours by travelling in buses,” he added.
The railways said train services were not affected due to the agitation by MNS workers.
“No overcrowding has been reported at stations. Trains are running as per schedule,” said the Central railway in a statement.
The MNS had announced last week to hold an agitation on Monday morning.
On Sunday, Railway Protection Force (RPF) had sent notices to the MNS to desist from holding the agitation.
Mumbai’s suburban local railway network has been suspended for the public since March 22 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On June 15, a limited number of local train services resumed for employees working in essential services.
The ruling Shiv Sena said it is adopting a cautious approach to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We are unlocking in phases. The viral infection will spread rapidly if the suburban train services are thrown open for the public,” said Anil Parab, Maharashtra transport minister and a Sena leader.