India

Dalit Protest: Maharashtra Govt imposes section 144 in Thane till Jan 4

Mumbai: After Dalit protesters took to streets on the second consecutive day in Mumbai over Bhima Koregaon violence, Maharashtra government has imposed Section 144 in Thane district till midnight of January 4.

Clashes between Dalit groups and supporters of right-wing Hindu organisations erupted at Bhima Koregaon and neighbouring villages during celebrations to mark 200th anniversary of a British-Peshwa battle in which forces of British East India Company had defeated Peshwa’s army.

The Mumbai police has advised residents to not believe or spread rumors. Police administration is geared up to deal with any untoward situation.

The Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, a Dalit party headed by the grandson of BR Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar had called for a “peaceful Maharashtra shutdown” on Wednesday to express anger over Pune incidents of January 1, in which, one person died after violence broke out during celebrations to mark bicentenary of a British-era war.

Prakash Ambedkar has alleged that Hindu Ekta Aghadi was responsible for violence. He said Maharashtra Democratic Front, Maharashtra Left Front and some 250 other organisations have supported his call.

Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Bhima Koregaon every year to mark the anniversary of an 1818 war between the British and the Peshwa.

The celebrations gathered momentum in 1927 after BR Ambedkar visited the spot and called the Bhima Koregaon battle a war against caste. Historians are divided on the subject.

But this year, the celebrations have been controversial, with several right-wing groups, such as Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Mahasangh calling the event anti-national.

 


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