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Dalits call off Maharashtra bandh after bringing state to its knees

BJP and other right-wing parties have accused Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani of inciting the Bhima-Koregaon violence

Agencies & BS Web Team 

Maharashtra Bandh
Protesters seen gathering at Ghatkopar's Ramabai Colony, police personnel also at the site. Photo: ANI

The bandh spearheaded by Dalit groups in Maharashtra has been called off after a day protests and violence saw traders downing shutters and rail and road traffic being in Mumbai and other parts of the state.

Maharashtra had remained on edge after the anniversary of a battle fought 200 years ago brought to fore simmering caste tensions even as a statewide bandh called on Wednesday to protest the state government's alleged failure to stop violence witnessed stray protest by

Violence had spilled over to adjoining parts of Maharashtra after clashes broke out between the and alleged right-wing groups on January 1, during the bicentenary celebration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle near

The right-wing groups were objecting to the observance of 'Victory Day' since they considered it to be an anti-celebration.

In the battle, which was fought between the British East India Company, containing in its infantry, and the Peshwas, who were upper-caste Brahmins, at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818, the Marathas ultimately withdrew. Since then, the lower-caste communities have been viewing it as a symbolic victory for themselves.

Here are the top 10 developments:

1. Internet services have been suspended in Aurangabad to keep the spread of rumours in check.

2.In Mumbai, colleges and schools opened as usual but school buses stayed off roads as a precaution. One private school bus was stoned in Chembur but there were no injuries. Mumbai's Dabbawala association on Tuesday decided not to run its delivery service, fearing the law and order issues in the city.

3. and other domestic carriers have waived off cancellation for no-show due to the protests in Maharashtra, the Economic Times reported. The state-backed carrier said it won't charge any fee for rescheduling flights from/to Mumbai on 2nd or 3rd January.

4. In wake of the ongoing protest against the Bhima Koregaon violence, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday advised the residents of the city neither to believe in rumours. Additional forces have been deployed at vulnerable areas in Pune, Thane, Mumbai. Section 144 has been imposed in till January 4. Section 144 empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four people in an area.

5. Dalit protesters tried to block tracks at the railway station on Wednesday morning, but they have been chased away soon and the traffic on the Central Railway line remained uninterrupted, said a railway official, reported ANI.

7. Interstate bus services from Karnataka to Maharashtra has been temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure, ANI reported, ANI reported. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses in some sensitive districts have been suspended as a precaution after it suffered damages to 187 buses in Tuesday's violence.

8. Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Bharat Ratna B R Ambedkar, who called for the bandh, alleged that Hindu Ekta Aghadi was responsible for the violence. The Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, a Dalit party headed by him, called for a 'peaceful Maharashtra shutdown' on Wednesday to express anger over the incident.

However, BJP and other right-wing parties have accused Gujarat MLA of inciting the violence, saying he has been camping in the state for the same, the Economic Times reported.

9. On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of took to the streets in Chembur, Mankhurd, Ghatkopar, Bhandup and other strongholds in north-eastern parts of the city demanding action against the perpetrators of the riots.

10. CPI leader D Raja gave a zero hour notice in Rajya Sabha over "increasing atrocities against Dalits". SP's Naresh Agarwal, Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge asked for an adjournment motion, news agency ANI reported.

BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday targeted the BJP and RSS over the violence in Maharashtra claiming that it seemed "casteist forces" were behind the clashes while also blaming the state government for not making adequate arrangements to prevent them.

First Published: Wed, January 03 2018. 17:08 IST
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