Maratha quota stir gets mixed response in Mumbai, clashes break out in Latur

Maratha quota stir gets mixed response in Mumbai, clashes break out in Latur

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Maratha quota stir gets mixed response in Mumbai, clashes break out in Latur

The Maratha quota battle received mixed response in Mumbai as most of the local trains were running normally with no or little road disruptions reported on Wednesday morning.

Since morning, there was little traffic on both Western and Eastern express highways. The trains were crowded as usual. However, stray incidents of agitation on railway tracks were reported at Jogeshwari in suburban Mumbai. State-run BEST and TMT buses were damaged at Airoli and Thane respectively. There were 9 separate cases of BEST buses being damaged which include deflating tyres and breaking windshield. These occurred at Kandivali, Mulund, Andheri, Koparkhairane, Chandivali, Gorai and Kurla.

Normally, Google maps go red on the south-bound stretches of these highways but today it was all green in the morning.

People were happily tweeting about the open wide highways. Like Gaurav Kamboj who tweeted that he reached Vile Parle from Goregaon on WEH within 15 minutes which on a normal day takes 52 minutes. Other vital roads of LBS, SV Road too were comparatively empty. 

However, all this was before 8.30 am. After the peak morning hours, there was partial impact of the quota stir. At Jogeshwari station, the supporters of Maratha Kranti Morcha stopped a train for some time, waived flags and shouted slogans at around 9am or so. Soon, the RPF and GRP removed them from the rail premises. 

There was heavy police bandobast kept at the station to prevent repetition. The commuters inside the trains were discussing that as long as trains are running smoothly, there wouldn't be any problem. There has not been much problem on the Central Railway until now.

On roads, the protestors were blocking BEST buses, auto rickshaws and mobile aggregator cabs. In the early hours a BEST bus was damaged near Airoli-Mulund. Another bus belonging to Thane Municipal Transport was damaged in Thane. Auto rickshaws and taxis kept refusing fearing damage to their vehicles though they ran short distances like to the nearest railway station. School buses are running as usual.


Clashes in Latur

Though there was minimum impact in the Maximum City, news agency ANI reports about the clashes in Latur. Clashes broke out between two groups in Udgir in Latur when one group was forcibly trying to get people to shut shops and overturned a vegetable cart while attempting to enforce Maharashtra bandh. Police reached within time to contain situation. 


No to Bandh, Yes to Quota: Shiv Sena 

Though the Shiv Sena has supported the Maratha Kranti Morcha’s demand for 16% quota for the Maratha community in jobs and education, but it has not extended its backing for today's bandh in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar. 


Protests in Thane

Protest in Thane took a violent turn as one bus of Thane Municipal Transport in Wagle Estate area was damaged. A large number of MKM activists gathered at the Teen Haath Naka, shouted slogans and blocked the traffic. Police have ramped up bandobast in the area.

 MKM activists are gathering slowly and steadily in different parts of the city and making an appeal to the shopkeepers to support them. A section of shopkeepers have decided to down shutters though it was business as usual in other areas.

The traffic movement is so far normal. MKM has issued  a code of conduct making it amply clear that their protest will be silent and the organisers have excluded schools, colleges, ambulances from today's bandh. 


Impact on Metro and Airport 

Services of Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 are running normal and so is the air traffic movement at Mumbai airport. Delays of 10-15 minutes is witnessed majorly due to operational reasons, however, airlines have asked passengers to keep more time for travelling to airport anticipating traffic jam due to bandh. Jet Airways, indiGo and Vistara have issues advisory in the same regards. 

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