MUMBAI: The agitation by various Dalit groups across Maharashtra over the violence at Bhima-Koregaon paralysed traffic within and headed in and out of Mumbai. Major road roko agitations at Thane choked inflow into the city, while demonstrations across the megacity's major motorways brought traffic to a standstill. The city's thoroughfares resumed a semblance of normalcy in the evening.
Protesters also blocked rail traffic, bringing Mumbai's crucial local train services to a halt. Metro services were also suspended for a short while in certain sections.
Road traffic was badly hit on major routes such as the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway, apart from other major roads running through the city.
Major crossroads in Chembur, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Andheri and Worli also witnessed agitations that affected the flow of traffic.
The major hit to traffic meant school bus operators decided to stay off the roads, automatically reducing the number of children who were able to get to schools. The low turnout also led to many schools sending children back home shortly afterwards.
The cascading effect of traffic jams across the city meant air traffic was also affected. Airlines grappled with staff crunches, with ground-handling staff unable to reach work. Combined with the inability of many travellers to reach the city's airports, many airlines suspended flights, and offered free cancellations and reschedules.
The protesters began clearing out of the streets only by early evening, after Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar called off the protest.