A day after caste clashes in Pune, Dalits in large numbers laid siege to Mumbai, blocking traffic and forcing shops to down shutters. As per reports, train services were also disrupted. As per the Mumbai police PRO, more than 100 people have been arrested.
A leader of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), Prakash Ambedkar, who is Dr. BR Ambedkar’s grandson, also gave a Mumbai Bandh call for Wednesday.
Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday sought a judicial probe into the matter.
“We need to find out whether it was a planned incident or not. The police were present there in large numbers otherwise it would have been much worse,” Fadnavis told media.
“We will be requesting the Supreme Court for a judicial inquiry into the matter… CID inquiry will also be conducted in the death of the youth,” added Fadnavis as he announced Rs.10 lakh compensation for victim’s kin.
The violence erupted in the village of Koregaon-Bhima on Monday during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Anglo-Maratha War between the army of Peshwa Bajirao II with a small force of the East India Company that comprised a large number of Dalits.
Several lakhs of Dalits had congregated around the Victory Pillar (Vijay Stambh) erected by the British in Sanaswadi village when suddenly stone pelting started, allegedly by some right-wing groups carrying saffron flags.
The Mumbai Police advised the people not to believe in rumours and also clarified on traffic movement and situation.
Don’t believe in rumours. Traffic on Eastern expressway was affected due to protests. It’s moving now. Traffic at Chembur Naka is still affected. There is nothing to panic. Verify facts with police officers and men before posting anything on social media.
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) January 2, 2018
In the clashes that ensued between the two groups, more than 30 vehicles, including buses, police vans and private vehicles, were torched or damaged.
The police fired tear gas to control the mobs and prohibitory orders were imposed in the entire Pune district. Rahul Fatangale, 28, from Nanded was killed in the incident.
NCP President Sharad Pawar blamed the Maharashtra administration for lapses and suspected the involvement of anti-social elements taking advantage of the situation to indulge in violence, which started with stone-pelting.