MUMBAI: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation on Tuesday suspended all the bus services to several districts in the state in view of the violence during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon in Pune.
The bus services were suspended in Ahmednagar and Aurangabad district of Maharashtra after several buses were vandalised by protesters today in Pune's Hadapsar and Fursungi, said an ANI report.
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2018
Yesterday, several lakhs of Dalits had congregated around the Victory Pillar (Vijay Stambh) erected by the British in Sanaswadi village when suddenly stone pelting started, allegedly by some right-wing groups carrying saffron flags.
In the clashes that ensued between the two groups, more than 30 vehicles, including buses, police vans and private vehicles, were torched or damaged.
The police fired tear gas to control the mobs and prohibitory orders were imposed in the entire Pune district.
Rahul Fatangale, 28, from Nanded was killed in the incident.
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.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said the violence was unfortunate and condemnable.
"I had apprised the chief minister about taking adequate precautions. More care should have been taken. There should be a judicial probe into the incidents of violence. All sections of the society should unitedly and peacefully foil attempts of anti-social elements," Munde tweeted.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar too condemned the incident and blamed the administration for the violence during the event. He also demanded the state government to launch an inquiry into the incident.
"Since the administration did not take precautions, rumours and misunderstanding spread. A youth in Nanded died unfortunately. People from political and social field should defuse the situation harmoniously and patiently without making provocative speeches," the former Union minister appealed.
Appealing for peace, Pawar said such situations need to be defused patiently by those in political and social spheres without any provocative speeches being made.
Pawar noted that locals in Vadhu village said that right-wing groups in Pune were making proactive speeches against the event three to four days prior to it.