Maha simmers after Pune violence; 100 detained
Mumbai: Several towns and cities in Maharashtra were on edge on Tuesday as Dalit protests against Monday's violence in Pune spilt over to capital Mumbai, with agitators damaging scores of buses, and disrupting road and rail traffic, officials said.
Clashes between Dalit groups and supporters of right-wing Hindu organisations during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district had left a man dead on Monday.
In Pune, cases were registered by the Pimpri police against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who head the Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan respectively, for allegedly inciting the violence. The two organisations had opposed the celebration of "British victory" in the battle.
Over 160 buses were damaged in Mumbai by rampaging protesters over 100 of whom were detained, police said.
CM Devendra Fadnavis ordered a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Bombay High Court into the Pune violence and appealed for calm. He said it needed to be ascertained if there was a conspiracy behind Monday's violence.
Prakash Ambedkar, the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader and grandson of B R Ambedkar, has called a 'Maharashtra bandh' on Wednesday.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi called the event to celebrate the Bhima-Koregaon battle as a "potent symbol" of resistance to RSS-BJP's "fascist vision".
In Mumbai, protesters disrupted road traffic in the suburbs and local train services on the Harbour Line. They blocked roads in several areas, forced shops to shut down, and also attacked a journalist of a television news channel.
Protesters staged a rail roko in Chembur. Groups of protesters held demonstrations in Chembur, Vikhroli, Mankhurd and Govandi, police said.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Priyadarshini, Kurla, Sidharth Colony and Amar Mahal areas on the Eastern Express Highway, took out processions and raised slogans against the government and the administration.
Protests were also held in Kolhapur, Parbhani, Latur, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Hingoli, Kolhapur, Nanded and Thane districts, police said. Heavy security was deployed in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai.
The Mumbai police, meanwhile, issued a statement appealing to people not to believe in rumours and verify facts with the police before posting anything on social media.