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Maharashtra unrest: Rahul Gandhi blames BJP for Dalit protests

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said a judicial inquiry has been ordered into the violence which erupted during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district.

Maharashtra unrest: Rahul Gandhi blames BJP for Dalit protests
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@OfficeOfRG

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the ruling party over violence which erupted during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district, saying that RSS andBJP 'fascist vision' wanted to keep Dalits at the bottom of society.

"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 handle of the office of Rahul tweeted.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence. "A sitting High Court judge will head the inquiry," Fadnavis said, a day after a youth died as a group, opposed to the celebrations due to the 'British victory' in the battle, clashed with Dalits rallying their way to the battle memorial.

The East India Company had defeated the Peshwa's army in the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district.

He added that Rs ten lakh compensation would be given to kin of the youth killed. The youth's death would be probed by the CID, Fadnavis told reporters.

The CM also appealed for calm and peace, saying Maharashtra is a progressive state which does not believe in casteist violence. Strict action would be taken against those who use social media to spread rumours, he said and appealed to political parties to refrain from saying anything that would fuel tensions.

The violence sparked off protests in various parts of the state on Tuesday, including in Mumbai where protesters staged a rail roko in Chembur.

Meanwhile,  Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader Prakash Ambedkar has called for Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday to protest the state government's 'failure' to stop the violence at Bhima Koregaon village.

Ambedkar alleged that Hindu Ekta Aghadi was responsible for the violence. He said Maharashtra Democratic Front, Maharashtra Left Front, besides 250 organisations, have supported the shutdown.

(With PTI inputs)