Dalits call off Maharashtra bandh after bringing state to its knees

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 03, 2018 18:05 hrs
Dalit protests

Mumbai: The day-long 'Maharashtra bandh' called by various dalit and other organisations to protest the violence against commemoration of Bhima-Koregaon battle has been withdrawn, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar announced on Wednesday.

Incidents of road blockades, arson and stone-pelting were reported in Mumbai and other areas throughout the day, affecting normal life in the state.

"The bandh was mostly peaceful barring two incidents in Mumbai and one in Aurangabad. I want to congratulate the protesters as they kept their calm even at a time when the emotions were very high," said Ambedkar.

"People are extremely hurt at the communal tensions in the state. The contributions of the marginalized community towards nation building are being questioned today," he added.

Ambedkar also demanded that police arrest Bhide Guruji and Milind Ekbote for inciting mobs against people who had gathered at Bhima Koregaon on January 1.

Ambedkar said that Umar Khalid and Jignesh Mewani, against whom a complaint has been filed for giving provocative statement have no connections to the incident in Bhima Koregaon.

He has demanded that police arrest Bhide Guruji and Milind Ekbote for inciting mobs against people who had gathered at Bhima Koregaon on January 1.

"I want to congratulate the protestors as they kept their calm even at a time when the emotions were very high. Police is taking combing operations in Aurangabad and that they should stop immediately," he added.

Ambedkar had called for a Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday to protest the state government's failure to stop Monday's violence in Pune.

Parts of Mumbai came to a near standstill after Dalits blocked roads in several areas and forced shops to shut.

The violence came after a woman died at an event on Monday to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon in Pune district.

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