Dalit leader calls off Maharashtra bandh

ANI | Updated: Jan 03, 2018 19:21 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] Jan 3 (ANI): Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar on Wednesday withdrew the bandh called in Maharashtra to protest the state government's failure in stopping the violence that broke out in Bhima Koregaon in Pune.

Speaking to ANI, the grandson of B R Ambedkar, Prakash said, "Today's bandh which was called upon by us has been withdrawn. On behalf of all the 250 organisations that we have in support, we are announcing that we are withdrawing this 'bandh' as people are extremely hurt by the communal tensions in the state".

The protests were held in Nagpur, Pune and Baramati and incidents of road blockades, arson and stone-pelting were reported in Mumbai and neighbouring areas.

He added that the way people had supported 'Maharashtra Bandh' in large numbers was appreciable.

"No case of vandalism was registered today in Mumbai. I want to congratulate the protestors as they kept their calm even at a time when the emotions were very high. The police are taking combing operations in Aurangabad which they should stop immediately," Ambedkar opined.

Tension gripped many parts of Maharashtra after the death of a youth in clashes on Monday, during an event to mark 200 years of Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a Crime Investigation Department (CID) probe into the death of the youth.

The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the victim's kin.

The Battle of Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.

The Marathas ultimately withdrew, fearing the arrival of a larger British force.

The Company troops of Indian origin included predominantly Mahar Dalit soldiers belonging to the Bombay Native Infantry. The Dalit activists regard the battle as a heroic episode in their history. (ANI)