Mobile internet services in Navi Mumbai were suspended on Thursday morning in the wake of the tense situation in areas like Koparkhairane, which witnessed violence during the Maratha agitation on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, the police had to lob tear gas shells and used baton-charge in Koparkhairane after a group of protesters pelted stones at vehicles and clashed with locals and indulged in arson. A police outpost was set on fire. The incidents occurred even after the bandh was called off.

Meanwhile, one of the protesters who was part of the mob involved in vandalising cars, succumbed to injuries at JJ Hospital on Thursday morning.

Tension prevails

As the situation continued to remain tense, the Navi Mumbai Police asked telecom service providers to temporarily stop the services.

Tushar Doshi, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, said they have requested all network providers to block the internet services (mobile data) in Navi Mumbai so that they can contain the spread of rumours.

“As of now, the request has been made for two days, but if required, it will be extended. The situation in Koparkhairane is under control,” Mr. Doshi said.

Additional forces

DIG Sandeep Karnik from the Mumbai State Reserve Police Force has been deployed in Navi Mumbai since Wednesday night. The post of Joint Commissioner is vacant, and with the increasing tension in Koparkhairane, DGP DD Padsalgikar sent additional forces with Mr. Karnik as the head. According to sources, Mr. Karnik and team will be there till the situation gets back to normalcy.

Residents’ claims

By Thursday evening, some residents claimed to have got back the internet. “We requested all network providers to block the 4G and 3G internet services (mobile data) in Navi Mumbai. If the services resume before the deadline, we will again check with the providers,” Mr. Doshi said.

On Thursday morning, one of the protesters involved in pelting stones at cars in Koparkhairane, died at JJ Hospital. The victim identified as Mr. Todkar from Satara was admitted to NMMC Hospital in Vashi.

No details

“Being in a critical condition, he was shifted to JJ Hospital. We suspect that he was attacked by Koparkhairane villagers when the mob went violent. We are yet to get details about the deceased and what had actually happened to him,” a police officer, who did not want to be named, said.

Officials at JJ Hospital said the patient was admitted with polytrauma, head, and multiple limb injuries. Dr. P.D. Nichat performed a surgery at 2.15 a.m., but he died at 10.30 a.m.

According to sources, Mr. Todkar (in early 20s) was critical from the time he was admitted to NMMC Hospital, and since then the message of his death was doing rounds, the police kept refuting it as rumour.

“Since the mob had gathered again late on Wednesday night after hearing the rumour, we suspected that if the person succumbed, the mob could go violent again. Hence we decided to request the telecom network providers to block the services,” the officer said.

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