Angry Dalits staged rail and road blockades and took out processions in Mumbai and carried out agitations in different parts of Maharashtra on Tuesday to protest against violence in Pune a day ago which left one youth dead.
The Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, a Dalit party headed by Prakash Ambedkar - the grandson of Bharat Ratna B.R. Ambedkar, called for a 'peaceful Maharashtra shutdown' on Wednesday to express anger over the Pune incidents.
On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of Dalits 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 Pune riots.
Scores of Dalit youth blocked the Harbor Line of Central Railway near Chembur on Tuesday afternoon, leading to stoppage of the local train services for hours.
Several lakhs of commuters were stranded on stations or in stationary trains and many preferred to walk on the railway tracks to their destinations.
Reacting on the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis termed the death a murder, and said that the CID will investigate the incident. Bhima-Koregaon clashes: CM Fadnavis orders judicial inquiry into violence
As it Happened:
09:40 pm: Complaint against Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid received at Pune's Deccan Police Station, complainant alleges they made provocative statements that led to tension between two communities.
Complaint against Jignesh Mevani & Umar Khalid received at Pune's Deccan Police Station, complainant alleges they made provocative statements that led to tension b/w two communities. (File Pics) pic.twitter.com/qaZOej3iX1— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
08:45 pm: Traffic jam in Mumbai's Deonar area due to protests post
07:50 pm: BSP chief Mayawati blames BJP for Koregaon violence.
"The Maharashtra govt knew that a large number of people gather there every year, then why did they not make adequate security arrangements."
But the BJP govt did not pay any heed and propagated a massive violence there, Mayawati said in a press conference on Tuesday.
She accused BJP and RSS of conspiring against Dalits 'so that they cannot preserve their history'.
Yeh jo ghatna ghati hai yeh roki ja sakti thi. Sarkaar ko wahan suraksha ka uchit prabandh karna chahiye tha. Wahan BJP ki sarkaar hai aur unhone wahan hinsa karayi, lagta hai iske peeche BJP,RSS aur jaati wadi takaton ka haath hai: BSP Chief Mayawati on #BhimaKoregaonViolence pic.twitter.com/RZAPKYsYWr— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 2, 2018
06:35 pm: Case registered against 2 persons at Pune's Pimpri Police Station: DCP Ganesh Shinde
06:07 pm: A central pillar of the RSS/BJP’s fascist vision for India is that Dalits should remain at the bottom of Indian society. Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima-Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance: Rahul Gandhi
05:52 pm: 100 people have been arrested on the basis of CCTV footage. Eastern Express Highway was the most affected due to violence, traffic is now returning to normal: Sachij Patil, DCP Mumbai Police
Jignesh Mewani, Omar Khalid, Prakash Ambedkar and Radhika Vemula in Pune at an event marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon (31.12.17) pic.twitter.com/s4ngA9T8hc— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
05:01 pm: Mumbai Police have arrested over 100 people for their alleged involvement in the ongoing clashes and agitation.
04:42 pm: BEST bus burnt at Chembur Naka. Navi Mumbai police stop all buses and trucks going towards Mumbai.
04:28 pm: Section 144 has been imposed in few parts of Aurangabad and Pune rural, says Maharashtra DGP
04:27 pm: Dalit groups have called for a Maharashtra bandh tomorrow
04:26 pm: Mumbai Special train services being run on Harbour line between CSMT-Kurla and Mankhurd. All other services on Central Railway running normally.
04:25 pm: Section 144 has not been imposed in Chembur or other parts of eastern suburbs: Mumbai Police PRO
04:14 pm: All bus services from Pune to Ahemadnagar have resumed.
04:11 pm: Efforts going on at Kamrajnagar and Ramabai Nagar to clear the road traffic. Some incidents of protests in the city.
03:44 pm: Five people including four cops have been injured in the protests. They have been taken to Rajawadi and Kurla Bhabha hospitals.
03:40 pm: As the clashes turned violent, several schools and colleges were shut in Mumbai as a precautionary measure on Tuesday.
03:31 pm: We're assessing damage and want to help. Request cooperation of the people with the government of Maharashtra: Deepak Kesarkar, MoS Home, Maharashtra
02:52 pm: Local train services affected on Harbour line between Chembur and Govandi due to agitation by protesters.
Request will be made to SC for judicial inquiry in Koregaon violence matter and CID inquiry will also be conducted on the death of the youth. 10 lakh compensation for victim's kin: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/UdtDuYcQwN— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
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
Spoke to Maharashtra CM, demand that this matter should be inquired; action must be taken against the culprits so that such incidents don't recur: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on violence between two groups during an event to mark 200 years of Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune pic.twitter.com/IFUTj752wr— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
Maharashtra: Violence between two groups during an event to mark 200 years of the Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune yesterday, vehicles set on fire pic.twitter.com/5RpITAK4qB— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
Ppl have been going there for last 200 yrs, nothing like this ever happened. It was expected that more ppl will be there on 200th anniversary. More attention was needed in the matter: Sharad Pawar on alleged violence with Dalits on 200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon battle #Pune pic.twitter.com/zmzWrGOe9q— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
The CM also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased, and assured of a high-level judicial inquiry.
Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory, as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community – then considered untouchable – were part of the East India Company's forces.
However, some right-wing groups in Pune had expressed opposition to celebration of the `British' victory. Incidents of stone-pelting and vandalism occurred at Bhima Koregaon in Shiroor tehsil on Monday afternoon when people were heading for the war memorial in the village, police said.
Twenty-eight-year-old Rahul Fatangale died in the violence and three were injured, according to the police.
The violence erupted after a local group and some members of the crowd on its way to the memorial had an argument over some issue.
"Stone-pelting started after the argument. During the violence, some vehicles and a house in the vicinity were damaged," a police officer deployed for security at Bhima Koregaon said without elaborating.
He said the police stopped traffic on the Pune-Ahmednagar highway for sometime following the incident. The situation in the village is under control now, he said.
"More police personnel, including companies of the State Reserve Police Force, have been deployed," the officer said.
He said mobile phone networks were also blocked for some time to stop circulation of inflammatory messages.
The battle of Bhima Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818. Some Dalit leaders and thinkers view its outcome as a victory of oppressed classes over the upper-caste establishment of those times.
Earlier in the day, dalit leader and independent MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani visited the war memorial in the village. Mevani had also attended `Elgaar Parishad' held in Pune to commemorate the battle on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale demanded police protection for dalits in the wake of today's violence.
"Dalit groups visiting Bhima Koregaon were stopped at Sanaswadi near Koregaon. Stones were hurled at them. No police force was available for their protection," Athawale said in a statement.
He appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to deploy additional police force in the village and provide protection to the members of local dalit community.