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Rail roko, shutter down, transport bandh: City protests over Pulwama terror attack

Rail roko, shutter down, transport bandh: City protests over Pulwama terror attack
Rail roko, shutter down, transport bandh: City protests over Pulwama terror attack 1

Hundreds of commuters had blocked railway tracks at Nalasopara for nearly 3 hours today, affecting services on Western line (Picture Courtesy: Monish Pandey)

Scores of citizens staged protests in various parts of the city on Saturday to protest against the killing of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans in Pulwama terror attack earlier this week.

Rail Roko at Nalasopara

Hundreds of commuters staged an impromptu ‘rail roko’ at Nalasopara station on Western Railway on Saturday morning to protest against the horrific attack.

The protestors blocked all four tracks around 8 am, due to which several suburban and long-distance trains, between Vasai-Virar-Nalasopara, were either cancelled or re-scheduled.

While services between Virar and Nalasopara were also temporarily terminated, those on running between Churchgate and Vasai Road remained unaffected.

The protest was apolitical, with the crowd shouting Vande Mataram and anti-Pakistan slogans.

“Several protesters have blocked the tracks at Nallasopara due to which train movement has been affected at Nallasopara & beyond. GRP and RPF are making efforts to convince the people & evacuate the tracks & normalize the train movement,” Western Railway said in a statement.

The tracks were completely cleared around 11 am by Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF). The security forces had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

It took nearly three hours for regular services to resume on the busy route.

Other Protests

* Shops and other commercial establishments in Virar downed their shutters to pay homage to the jawans.

* Locals stopped state transport buses and auto-rickshaws from plying at Vasai earlier today. Some buses plying from Vasai were also halted at Virar.

* Isolated instances of stone-pelting on public transport like trains and buses were reported in the Vasai-Virar areas.

* In Mumbra, many businesses are shut, and auto rickshaws and buses have stopped plying in response to a bandh call by NCP.

Rail roko, shutter down, transport bandh: City protests over Pulwama terror attack 2

Visuals from Mumbra (Courtesy: Dr Binu Varghese)

* Shopkeepers at Gandhi Market, Sion have also shut shops today. Rumours about other markets following suit are doing rounds, although nothing is confirmed as of publishing this report.

* Hundreds of Muslims, carrying Indian Tricolour and raising anti-Pakistan slogans, took out a massive procession along Mohammed Ali Road on Friday. Most shopkeepers of the busy market area even observed a spontaneous bandh yesterday.

* Members of several NGOs also held a silent protest in Kamathipura and Nagpada areas. Another condolence gathering was held at Hutatma Smarak by organisations led by the Bharat Bachao Andolan.

* Activists of political parties like MNS and Shiv Sena burnt effigies of Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistan flags in Mumbai and Thane.

At least 40 CRPF jawans were martyred in Pulwama terror attack when an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a bus carrying the personnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Awantipora area of the district on Thursday afternoon.

The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant Adil Ahmad Dar.

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