Mumbai, Jan 4: Mumbai was back to normal on Thursday, a day after the Maharashtra bandh called by Dalit groups crippled the Maximum city. Schools and colleges reopened while road and rail traffic was restored after tensions on Wednesday. The Mumbai Police said that total 16 FIRs have been registered relating to incidents during Maharashtra Bandh in the city. The police also said that more than 300 miscreants were detained during protests on Wednesday, January 3.
Several incidents of road and rail route blockades were reported during the day on Wednesday. In Mumbai, the bandh took a toll on road traffic, rail traffic, business and even Bollywood. Protesters attempted ‘rail roko’ at several places including Thane, Ghatkopar, Nallasopara, Dombivli, Kanjurmarg among other places. The Western Line, Harbour Line as well as Central Line faced several delays as trains were stopped by protesters at some stations.Violence was also reported at some stations.
The road traffic also remained crippled during the day. While autorickshaws and taxis stopped plying after having to face protests, cab services Ola and Uber were also not working through the day. Huge traffic jam was seen on the Eastern Express Highway as hundreds of protesters blocked the highway at Ghatkopar.
Normalcy was restored after BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar called off the bandh a 4 pm on Wednesday.
How and Why the Bandh Was Called
On Monday, a large section of Dalits had gathered in Pune to mark the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon in which the British Army comprising Dalits had defeated the Peshwas. The ‘right-wing’ groups, however, protested the celebrations by the Dalits as they felt that a ‘British’ victory should not be observed. Notably, this year the celebrations got a political colour with Jignesh Mewani, the newly elected MLA of Gujarat attending the event.
The opposition left the Dalits irked and soon a clash broke out between both the groups. One person died in the stone pelting and arson. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a judicial probe by a sitting High Court judge and a CID investigation into the Koregaon-Bhima incident.