On Jan 1, celebrations turned into violent protest across Mumbai and Pune gripping both cities in fear and confusion. Dalit organizations celebrating the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district faced fiction from right wing elements in Maharashtra leading to demands for a lock down by those protesting. Here is everything you need to know about the protests.When did it start?
On Jan 1, 2018 thousands had gathered 30 kilometers away from Pune near the 'vijayastambh' (victory pillar) at Koregaon Bhima to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima. The battle was won by the British army, comprising mostly of Mahar soldiers, defeating the Brahmin Peshwa-led Maratha Empire in 1818. But the celebrations turned sour after a group carrying saffron flags started pelting stones at the cars going towards Bhima Koregaon village leading to clashes between the two groups resulting in the death of one Dalit and five people being injured.
On Jan 2, protests broke out in Pune and Mumbai against the death of the 28-year-old man. Over 100 buses were torched with violent protests in Chembur, Vikhroli, Mankhurd and Govandi. Disruptions in road traffic in the suburbs and local train services on the Harbour line brought the city to a temporary halt.What is the current situation?
On Tuesday, Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, called for a shutdown of Maharashtra citing support from 250 groups. Though schools and colleges remained open, school bus services were stopped.
Currently, Section 144 has been imposed in Thane till Jan 4 as Dalit activists protest in the district.
Mumbai’s dabbawalla association have halted services for the day due to ongoing disruptions in transportation. Six buses were stoned early morning.
What is the state doing?
Mumbai saw mass deployment of forces in the city in an effort by the administration to keep things smooth for Mumbaikars.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appealed for calm and ordered a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Bombay High Court into the Pune violence. "Don't believe or spread rumors, continue with your routine activities. Police administration is geared up to deal with any untoward situation," Mumbai Police advised residents.
The police maintain that the situation is under control in Pune.
The state announced Rs. 10 lakh compensation to kin of the man killed in Pune clashes.
Who are the arrested so far?
After Monday’s clash police registered cases against two leaders of local right-wing organizations, Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan.