MUMBAI: Following the death of the second protestor in the Maratha reservation stir, agitators took to streets to stop vehicular and train movement at several places. Mumbai streets were practically empty after taxis decided not to ply on roads, fearing vandalism. “We're afraid our vehicles may be attacked,” taxi owners told Zee News.
So far, two protestors and one constable have died in the ongoing Maharashtra protest. Nine other police officers were injured and two protestors hospitalised on Tuesday.
Mumbai local trains and buses witnessed less than 50 % attendance so far on Wednesday. However, the suburban railway services on the western, central, harbour and trans-harbour lines were not affected, officials said. Around 70 lakh people travel in local trains daily in the Mumbai region.
School buses were also not seen on the roads, with several educational institutes declaring holidays.
Protesters attacked public buses in Mumbai, and the neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai as the
Bandh called by Maratha outfits over their demand for reservation began this morning.
The agitation has also affected the supply of vegetables and Dabbawalas operation in the city.
However, the protests have not affected essential services including ambulances.
Members of Maratha Kranti Morcha blocked a local train in Thane, demonstrating on railway tracks.
Two BEST buses were attacked by agitators in Kanjurmarg and Bhandup suburbs of Mumbai.
In view of the stone-pelting on buses, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) partially suspended its services in those areas and expects to resume it when the situation improves, an official of the transport body said.
Protesters also hurled stones at a public transport bus in Wagle Estate area of the neighbouring Thane city.
They blocked some areas there, including the key Teen Hath Naka junction, resulting in long queues of vehicles on the road leading to Mumbai.
A bus was also attacked in Ghansoli area of Navi Mumbai following which the city transport authority suspended its services in the area, an official said.
Agitators gathered at various locations in the Mumbai region and the neighbouring Raigad and Palghar districts.
The Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation for reservation in jobs and education, has called for the shutdown in Mumbai and some neighbouring districts today.
Another outfit, the Sakal Maratha Samaj, called for the bandh in Navi Mumbai and Panvel areas.
On Tuesday, large-scale violence marred a state-wide protest by Maratha outfits demanding reservation for the community.
With agency inputs