Commuters go on rampage, suburban services stalled for six hrs
Mumbai: Upset over disruption of suburban train services, irate commuters today went on a rampage setting afire vehicles, vandalising rail property and pelting stones leading to chaos for six hours and leaving thousands of people stranded before services resumed.
Suburban Thane witnessed commuter rage today as irate rail passengers indulged in arson, pelted stones at police and staged a ‘rasta roko’ after train services on Central Railway route were disrupted due to technical failure, prompting police to cane-charge the protestors.
The suburban train services on the Harbour line also came to a halt after some motormen were injured in the violence and refused to operate trains due to security issues.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reviewed the situation after the outbreak of train commuters’ fury and appealed the people to maintain peace.
“The Chief Minister has appealed for peace. Police is taking all steps to restore peace,” Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil told reporters here.
“The CM is monitoring the situation every five minutes. He has spoken to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu,” he said.
Angry rail commuters staged a ‘rail roko’ at Diva station between Thane and Kalyan, after they were stranded for hours following breakdown of pantographs of a Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-bound train at 6.30 AM near Thakurli station.
The protesters also set on fire at least three vehicles, including a police jeep, a Thane civic official said.
Three pantographs of a CST-bound train from Badlapur got damaged and the train came to a standstill with huge sparks.
Soon after, another Kalyan-CST train also experienced similar technical failure. Thus, the entire slow line towards CST crumbled in the morning peak hours. Even the fast train services got affected as trains were diverted.
The ticket window at Dombivili station on Central line was broken, and automatic ticket vending machines (ATVM) were thrown on tracks.
Police cane-charged the protestors gathered on the tracks.
Suresh Prabhu tweet
Very unfortunate for commuters to suffer on Central Rail. Directed GM to sort out the grievances ASAP. Diva to CST feasibility studied now
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) January 2, 2015
Suburban rail network is under severe stress. Long neglected.Drawing up plan to revamp it on top priority. Need time to implement.Huge task — Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) January 2, 2015