Bhima Koregaon violence: 15 flights cancelled

ANI | Updated: Jan 03, 2018 22:55 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Jan 3 (ANI): The Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) on Wednesday informed that eight departure and seven arrival flights were cancelled due to the Maharashtra bandh, while autos and taxis resumed services from both the terminals.

"As of 5 PM, 8 departure and 7 arrival flights were cancelled while autos and taxis resumed services from both the terminals," read a press statement from the Mumbai airport.

It further noted that it took numerous measures and initiatives to ensure that the passengers travelling through the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) were least affected by the protests.

"Anticipating that the protests may aggravate during the course of the day, MIAL activated its contingency plan in the morning. While the flight operations were running smoothly, the absence of private cab operators and the limited availability of autos created inconvenience for passengers. To facilitate transportation of passengers from the airport to the nearest stations, MIAL arranged for services of the BEST buses from Terminal 1 & 2", it continued.

The statement added that however, as the unrest escalated, crew members of certain airlines reported late, while few could not make it to the airport that led to the cancellation of few flights.

"As cases of stone pelting were reported from parts of Andheri, BEST bus services were discontinued. As passengers opted to stay inside the airport terminal buildings, MIAL, in order to comfort the travellers, arranged for free refreshments which included tea, water bottles and snacks. In addition to this, MIAL also allocated additional check-in counters to airlines to cater to passengers who were scheduled on cancelled flights", it further read.

Tension gripped many parts of Maharashtra after the youth's death on Monday during an event to mark 200 years of Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune.

In the aftermath, a day-long 'Maharashtra bandh' was called by various Dalit and other organisations.

The bandh was, however, called off later in the day, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar announced.

The Battle of Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima. The Marathas ultimately withdrew, fearing the arrival of a larger British force.

The Company troops of Indian origin included predominantly Mahar Dalit soldiers belonging to the Bombay Native Infantry, and therefore the dalit activists regard the battle as a heroic episode in their history. (ANI)