Mumbai, Jan 3: Local trains on Central and Harbour lines witnessed brief disruption following protests by Dalit groups in parts of Mumbai and Thane against caste-based violence during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune. Local trains were blocked at Thane, Diwa, Titwala, Nalasopara and Virar station. However, all services have now been resumed. Several Dalit outfits have called for ‘Maharashtra Bandh’ today.
Local trains on Central, Harbour, Western and Transharbour line are running uninterrupted except for few minutes agitation at some stations but the Railway staff, RPF and GRP officials cleared the path immediately and train services resumed unhindered. “Few protestors tried to disrupt Railway services at Thane but were immediately cleared by RPF and GRP officials. Services are running uninterrupted on Central Railway as of now” CPRO Central Railway told ANI.
On Western line, railway tracks have been cleared and train operations have resumed at Nallasopara/Virar station from 10:30 am. A couple of trains were delayed for 5-10 minutes due to the protest. Air-conditioned local train cancelled for today in Mumbai. Meanwhile, the Eastern Expressway has been blocked by hundreds of activists at Ghatkopar. Ast least 13 BEST buses damaged due to stone pelting in Mumbai so far.
The violence broke out when at least five lakh members of the Dalit community had gathered in villages around Bhima Koregaon near Pune to attend an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon. In the battle of Bhima Koregaon, the British Army comprising Dalits had defeated the Peshwas. A large section of Dalits views the historical battle as the defeat of the ‘casteism’ of upper-caste Peshwas. The celebration resulted in clashes between Dalit and Maratha community members. A 30-year-old man died in those clashes.