Farmers in the western state have been protesting against land acquisition for a proposed airport at Nevali and set vehicles on fire and clashed with police, leaving four policemen injured. "People living in the village don't have their own land, they have to live on rent", said Hemant Bhal, a resident of Bhal village.
To control the situation, 500 to 600 security personnel from Thane commissionerate have been deployed in the village, including local police, State Reserve police force, Riot Control Force and Quick Response Team.
Vehicular movements on main roads leading to Malanggadh, Badlapur-Ambernath road and roads leading to Navi Mumbai, were stopped and police vans and tires were burnt at Nevali naka and Davalpada area.
The Nevali airport issue dates back to the Second World War, when the British Government had in acquired 1,600 acres to build an airstrip for use during the war.
A decade ago hundreds of farmers, landless labours, and dalits from Maharashtra converged at Delhi's Jantar Mantar Parliament street-crossing to protest a Ministry of Defence land-acquisition proposal.
"Some of our policemen suffered injuries while trying to control the situation", an officer said according to the Hindustan Times. They clashed with police when they tried to disperse the unruly mob. The biggest of them was on the Thane-Badlapur highway, where they had blocked traffic. The police was caught off-guard by the massive, violent mob, that left a number of policemen injured.
However, the land was transferred back to the original land owners after 1947. The land was acquired by Ministry of Defence.
The navy clarified that the land belongs to the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy, and figures in the land records, reports DHNS from Mumbai.
"The 7/12 (land) extracts are held with Defence Estate Officer, Mumbai. The government is working on finding a solution to it", said Shinde.
"The Navy is constructing a peripheral boundary wall to protect and safeguard defence land from further encroachment", the spokesperson further said.