MUMBAI: Amid Dalit protests in parts of Maharashtra, BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday lashed out at the ruling BJP government blaming them for the Bhima Koregaon violence.
"Yeh jo ghatna ghati hai yeh roki ja sakti thi. Sarkaar ko wahan suraksha ka uchit prabandh karna chahiye tha (The incidents of violence could have been avoided. The government should have made proper security arrangements)," Mayawati told ANI.
The BSP chief, also called a Dalit leader, held RSS responsible for the violence.
"Wahan BJP ki sarkaar hai aur unhone wahan hinsa karayi, lagta hai iske peeche BJP,RSS aur jaati wadi takaton ka haath hai (The BJP government in the state is responsible for the violence. BJP and RSS are likely to be behind it)," she added.
Dalit groups on Tuesday staged protests in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, resulting in massive traffic snarls, including on the Mumbai-Panvel highway.
A day earlier, violence erupted in the village of Koregaon-Bhima during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Anglo-Maratha War between the Army of Peshwa Bajirao II with a small force of East India Company that comprised a large number of Dalits.
On Monday, hundreds and thousands 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 rightwing 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. The violence led to the death of Rahul Fatangale, 28, of Nanded.