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Caste conflict pushing Maharashtra towards 'chaos and destruction': Sena

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party, a junior ally in the BJP-led government, bemoaned large-scale damage to property by protesters during the January 3 bandh

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Dalit groups protesting in Mumbai against violence in Bhima Koregaon area in Pune. Photo: Kalmesh Pednekar
Dalit groups protesting in Mumbai against violence in Bhima Koregaon area in Pune. Photo: Kalmesh Pednekar

is moving towards "chaos and destruction" due to caste conflict, the said on Saturday as it continued its attack on the government over the violence at Bhima Koregaon village.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party, a junior ally in the BJP-led government, bemoaned large-scale damage to property by protesters during the January 3 bandh in called by outfits to denounce the violence at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district.

"Dalits are calling for bandh and Hindutvawadi groups are taking out morchas. It looks like is moving towards chaos and destruction due to caste conflict instead of prosperity," read an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

The Sena organ said if the bandh called by the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) was peaceful, his stature as a leader would have risen.

"His followers have become directionless. In Kolhapur, a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was desecrated," the Marathi daily said.

The editorial said the was showing solidarity with Chief Minister at the time of caste conflict as it wanted to protect Maharashtra's "asmita" (pride) and ensure law and order.

The newspaper said efforts are being made to incite in the state by exploiting the clashes which took place at Bhima Koregaon on January 1.

None of the leaders tried to calm tempers of the community members, who, anyway, were in no mood to listen to them, the BJP's bickering ally lamented.

Violence during the state-wide bandh resulted in loss of property to the tune of crores of rupees, the publication claimed, adding the financially bleeding transport body MSRTC alone took a Rs 250 million hit.

"This is not the time to analyse if the will benefit the BJP or any other party," the editorial read.

It said the recent events reflected poorly on the state's home department, headed by Fadnavis.

On January 4, too, the had attacked the Fadnavis government over its inept handling of the violence in Bhima-Koregaon and the subsequent incidents, alleging it had no work except to fight elections using the state machinery.

The violence erupted when groups were celebrating the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in which the British defeated the Peshwas of

leaders commemorate the British victory as it is believed soldiers from the Mahar community were part of the East India Company's forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins and the victory is seen as a symbol of assertiveness.

First Published: Sat, January 06 2018. 14:39 IST
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