Dalits call off Maharashtra bandh after bringing state to its knees

Bhimrao Ambedkar Bhima Koregaon war monument Dalits British Army Dalit reservation casteism secularism

Bhimrao Ambedkar

Dalit protesters burn a bike at Vikroli in Mumbai on Wednesday during a protest over Bhima Koregaon violence.

District superintendent of police Chandrakishore Mina said the victim's body has been sent for autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of the death.

The bandh was called off around 4 pm.

"Later in the evening, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a probe into incidents of violence across the state". They blocked roads in several areas, forced shops to shut down, and also attacked a journalist of a television news channel. Groups of youths from Chembur, Vikhroli, Mankhurd and Govandi joined the protest, the police said.

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The chief minister told mediapersons, "An inquiry will be conducted in the incidents of violence that took place across Maharashtra". Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses and a auto were vandalised by protesters in Powai. Mumbai's famous dabbawallas also remained off work today.

Prakash Ambedkar, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader had given a call for Maharashtra Bandh on Wednesday to protest failure of the State government to stop violence.

The protestors alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government and the central government have been trying to protect two accused Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote. "Not only Dalits, but OBCs also participated in the bandh", he added.

Several incidents of road and rail route blockades were reported during the day as protesters took to streets for blocking major road, rail routes.

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Several conservatives depicted the protests as an uprising against "oppression and tyranny", in the words of Senator Rob Portman. Some called on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and chanted against a government they described as thieves.

Moily said it was "most unfortunate" that the Bombay Police never anticipated this kind of big eruption. "Rasta Roko" protest was being held in Andheri on the Western Express Highway.

Over 50 BEST buses were vandalized by protesters and four bus drivers were injured, police said.

When the protest was getting out of hands, Deepak Kesarkar, MoS, Home Rural made an appeal asking people to maintain peace and handle things with patience.

Samiti convener Vittal Doddamaini addressing a rally said that inthe Bhima-Koregaon battle the dalits who fought for British EastIndia Company defeated the Peshwa army comprising Marathas.

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The clashes explode and took place when at the time of commemoration by Dalit groups of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon an argument took place between some assembled Dalits and right-wing groups spun out of control, which resulted in the death of a young man of Maharashtra. He said that Brahminical forceshad tried to wipe away memories of the victory of the Mahar regimentagainst the Peshwa forces in 1818 in Bhima-Koregaon.

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