Mumbai tense after caste violence in Pune

Violence breaks out when celebrations were on to mark 200 years of a battle between Mahar soldiers and Peshwas

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | January 3, 2018 | Mumbai


#Peshwa   #Mahar   #Dalit   #violence   #Mumbai   #Maharashtra   #Pune   #caste  
Protest at Thane, Mumbai (Photo: Geetanjali Minhas)
Protest at Thane, Mumbai (Photo: Geetanjali Minhas)

 Violence erupted in several parts of Maharashtra following the death of a 30-year old who was hit with stones when he was returning from office on Monday after a fight  broke out between Marathas and Dalits  in villages around Bhima Koregaon near Pune.

Clashes erupted on Monday when a large gathering of people near Pune were celebrating  200 years of the 1818  British battle at the ‘Jaystambh’ (victory memorial) in Perne village. A battalion of British East India company  consisting of Mahar (Dalit) soldiers defeated the Peshwas, symbolising the defeat of upper caste Brahmins. 
 
The event was marred by conflict between the commemorating group and those opposed to the event. Top Dalit leaders from Maharashtra, Gujarat's new Dalit face Jignesh Mewani, AIMPLB member Maulana Azhari and activist Umar Khalid were present at the celebrations.
Tuesday saw violent protests by Dalits across Maharashtra.
 
As many as 25 vehicles were torched by those opposed to the gathering. Fifty vehicles were damaged due to stone pelting. As per Times of India report, 154 buses were damaged across the state, including 20 BEST buses in Mumbai alone. The BEST buses were damaged in incidents across the suburbs, including Mulund, Chembur, Deonar and Kurla.
 
Cases were registered in Pune against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who head  the Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan for attempt to murder, rioting and sections of the Prevention of Atrocities Act. The two organisations had opposed the celebration of "British victory" in the battle.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a judicial inquiry into the Koregaon Bhima violence, a CID probe into the death of the Pune youth and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for his family. This announcements failed to pacify the Dalit leaders, with Prakash Ambedkar calling for a Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday.
 
According to state police, protests were also held in Kolhapur, Parbhani, Latur, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Hingoli, Kolhapur, Nanded and Thane. Mumbai Police detained several hundred  people over different locations for the violence.
 
 “Elaborate arrangements  have  been made to keep the situation under control in view of the bandh call. Extra forces have been kept on standby. Some areas have been identified where Internet services could be suspended so that people don’t spread rumours on social media,” Maharashtra DGP Satish Mathur was quoted as saying,
 
Acclaimed writer and founder member, Dalit Panthers, Arjun Dangle, blamed sections of the media for misleading people by  putting the blame  of violence on Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and JNU student Umar Khalid. 
 
“What have they got to do with it? What is the relation between Bhima Koregaon and Jignesh and Khalid,” he asked. 
 
“We have been going every year for celebrations, no violence happened. After BJP came to power things are becoming worse. Why is it doing this? We supported Modi earlier, now everyone is against him. There is unemployment and caste based violence,” he added.
 
Calls to Dalit leader and founder member of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, Prakash Ambedkar who has called for Maharashtra bandh today went unanswered.
 
Due to partial bandh, Mumbai remained tense with heavy police deployment. Sporadic cases of arson and rail and rasta roko have been reported across Mumbai. The eastern express highway is blocked. As many as 700 interstate buses are affected.  
 
Shops in Dadar and Parel areas are shut. Mumbai suburban trains too have been affected and running late. While schools remain open, school buses stayed off roads. Mumbai Dabbawalas are also participating in the bandh.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Making sense of facts – and alternative facts

The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World By Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan HarperCollins / 284 pages / Rs 599 Professor Noam Chomsky, linguist and public intellectual, has often spoken of &ls

The Manali Trance: Economics of Abandoning Caution in the Time of Coronavirus

The brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has left a significant death toll in its wake. Health experts advise that the imminent third wave can be delayed by following simple measures like wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing. However, near the end of the second wave, we witnesse

Govt considers fixing driving hrs of commercial vehicles

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has emphasised deciding driving hours for truck drivers of commercial vehicles, similar to pilots, to reduce fatigue-induced road accidents. In a Na

Telecom department simplifies KYC processes for mobile users

In a step towards Telecom Reforms which aim to provide internet and tele connectivity for the marginalised section, the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communica

Mumbai think tank calls for climate action

Raising concerns over rising seawater levels and climate change, Mumbai First, a 25-year-old public-private partnership policy think tank, has written letters to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, minister for environment and climate change, tourism and protocol, Aditya Thackeray and Mumbai munic

Creation of ‘good bank’ as important as ‘bad bank’ for NPA management

After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts fr

Visionary Talk: Gurcharan Das, Author, Commentator & Public Intellectual on key governance issues


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter