Violence rocks Mumbai over Reliance power tariff hike

Sena mobs went berserk after meeting Reliance officials


A truck torched by Shiv Sena activists during a protest against the hike in electricity charges by Reliance Energy in Mumbai on Monday. ap

The protests started in the afternoon when a mob of over 500 Sena activists, including scores of women, led by their leader Anil Parab, descended on the Reliance office and started hurling stones at the building, located adjacent to the busy Western Express Highway (WEH) in the Santa Cruz suburb.

The Sena activists even thrashed the building's security personnel when they attempted to stop them.

They also targeted at least four vehicles, including a truck, and set them afire, an official from Vakola police station said.

The violence occurred despite a delegation of Shiv Sena leaders being closeted with officials of Reliance company to hammer out the price hike issue. Police were rushed to the spot and the mob turned its ire on it. The mob pelted stones at the police, injuring at least three policemen, the official said. Policemen baton charged the mob and burst at least a dozen tear gas shells to disperse the agitators.

Chaos prevailed on the highway, all major roads leading to it and the east-west connecting roads in the evening peak hours due to the Sena protests.

Hundreds of vehicles bound for the north were stuck for several hours, even as police attempted to bring the situation under control.

Several office-goers driving back home had to take alternative routes to reach their respective in the Mumbai suburbs.

Late in the evening, Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said the party was protesting silently against the Reliance price hike. However, when the police caned a woman activist the crowds reacted, she said.

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