Maharashtra Bandh Today, Tight Security In Mumbai, Roads Clear: 10 Facts

Maharashtra Bandh Today, Tight Security In Mumbai, Roads Clear: 10 Facts


MUMBAI:  An attempt by protesters to block trains this morning was thwarted by the police at Thane near Mumbai this morning amid a call by Dalit groups for a bandh or shutdown in Maharashtra. Prohibitory orders banning large gathering have been imposed in parts of Thane There is massive security in Mumbai, where many people have stayed home. Schools are open, roads are clear and traffic normal in areas like Chembur, where thousands of Dalits blocked roads yesterday, alleging that they were targeted in clashes that broke out near Pune on Monday.


Here are the top 10 updates in this big story:

The Mumbai police have said extra forces have been requisitioned and deployed in areas where they anticipate trouble and they have also identified areas where internet could be suspended if needed to control rumours on social media. Bus services to Satara and Baramati town were suspended this morning.

A large number of protestors have blocked the railway tracks at Nallasopara Station, disrupting rail traffic, Western Railway tweeted this morning.

Mumbai famous Dabbawallas have suspended their services for today, citing difficulties in commuting. The head of the Dabbawala association Subhash Talekar said they would find it difficult to deliver tiffins on time during the bandh, news agency ANI reported.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take stock of the situation. He was told that all possible efforts were being made to restore normalcy in the state, news agency Press Trust of India reported quoting sources. Chief Minister Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into Monday's violence.

Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, has called for the bandh or shutdown of Maharashtra today. Mr Ambedkar who leads a Dalit group, said 250 such groups are supporting the bandh call.

On Tuesday, over 160 buses were damaged in Mumbai by protesters, the police said. The protesters also disrupted road traffic in the suburbs and local train services on the Harbour Line, blocked roads in several areas and forced shops to shut down. Over 100 protesters were detained in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The protests spread to Mumbai and other place after clashes broke out on Monday while Dalit groups were celebrating 200 years of the Anglo-Maratha battle at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune. Dalits were part of the British forces and the Peshwas who were defeated were upper castes and Dalits celebrate January 1 as victory day.

The Pune police has registered cases against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who head two local right-wing organisations, over Monday's clashes in which a man died and more than 12 people were injured. The two groups had opposed the Dalit celebrations, asking why a British victory was being celebrated.

Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party has demanded a discussion on the Maharshtra caste clashes in the Rajya Sabha today. "The incident which occurred could have been prevented. The government should have made adequate security arrangements. There is BJP government in the state, they let violence take place. It seems casteist forces like the BJP and RSS are behind the violence," said Mayawati, who draws most of her support from Dalits.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "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." The BJP's GVL Rao hit back saying, "PM @narendramodi ji is focusing on development, promoting them as entrepreneurs. Shame on you @OfficeofRG for petty politics! Time for you to apologise on your family's & party's behalf."

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