Mumbai: Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh President Prakash Ambedkar on Wednesday called off the Maharashtra bandh which left large parts of Mumbai and rest of the state virtually paralysed for many hours.
"The shutdown was peaceful and has evoked a huge response all over. I thank all my supporters for making it a success," Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar, told media persons. He also demanded that the state government should slap murder charges on the perpetrators of the violence and subsequent death of a youth in Koregaon-Bhima incident of January 1, 2017.
He further said that the shutdown action was not only for the Dalit cause but to highlight the plight of the state`s downtrodden people and seek justice for them, IANS reported.
Incident that led to Maharashtra bandh:
The bandh was called to protest the violence that occurred at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune. Clashes between Dalit groups and supporters of 'right-wing Hindu organisations' during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district left a man dead.
In Pune, cases were registered by the Pimpri police against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who heads the Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan respectively, for allegedly inciting the violence. The two organisations had opposed the celebration of 'British victory' in the battle.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Bombay High Court into the violence. He has also said that a Rs 10 lakh compensation would be given to kin of the youth killed and his death would be probed by the CID.
Maharashtra bandh turns violent, rail, road traffic hit:
On the other hand, the Maharashtra bandh turned violent on Wednesday even as rail and road traffic was disrupted in Mumbai city. Normal life in Mumbai was disrupted as protesters attacked city buses, stopped suburban local services and blocked roads at various places.
Dalits began protests in suburban Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kamraj Nagar, Vikhroli, Dindoshi, Kandivali, Jogeshwari, Kalanagar and Mahim. In view of protests in the city and suburbs, police had diverted traffic for smooth vehicular movement.
Incidents of stone pelting were reported at a few places on the harbour line, police said, as per PTI.
Protesters jumped on the rail tracks of harbour line at Govandi, Mankhurd and Kurla, due to which suburban services towards Panvel, Belapur and Vashi were stopped for a few hours. Similar protests at Thane, Bhandup, Kanjurmarg, Vikhroli and Ghatkopar stations on Central Railway line led to a long queue of trains on tracks.
CM Fadnavis has said that inquiry will be conducted in the incidents of violence in the state. "We are monitoring the CCTV footage of the violence," he said.
Hundreds of commuters were spotted walking on the railway tracks. On the Western Railway, protesters obstructed services at Nallasopara Station.
Thirteen buses of the civic transport service BEST were damaged by protesters in Kalanagar area (Bandra), Dharavi, Kamraj Nagar, Santosh Nagar, Dindoshi and Hanuman Nagar, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official said.
(With Agency inputs)