Maharashtra: Situation under control.
New Delhi/bhopal: The protests by dalits in Maharashtra over the Bhima Koregaon incident spread to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat as well as BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. In Gujarat, the dalit community took out a rally at Udhna and shouted slogans outside the BJP office. Hundreds of dalits gathered under the banner of the Samast Ambedkar Samaj and took out a rally. They briefly held a dharna in front of a stationary train at Udhna railway station and blocked a road, affecting traffic movement for some time.
In Madhya Pradesh, a bandh was called in Burhanpur town to protest against the Bhima Koregaon clashes, that took a violent turn with a mob allegedly damaging 12 vehicles and stoning trucks plying on the Ichhapur-Indore state highway.
In Parliament, the issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha where Opposition members blamed the BJP-Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government for failing to check the outbreak of violence.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, participating in a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, appealed for peace and calm in Maharastra and urged the Devendra Fadnavis government to bring back normality in the state as quickly as possible.
The Maharashtra government has, meanwhile, informed the Union home ministry that the situation in the state was now normal and under control, so there was no need to send any additional paramilitary reinforcements. Sources said the home ministry was in constant touch with the state government and was keeping a close watch on the law and order situation.
The Maharashtra government told the MHA that though adequate police deployment was made in Pune to mark the bicentenary of the Bhima Koregaon battle, the situation turned violent after provocative statements by some of the speakers.
While the report doesn’t name any of those who made these provocative speeches, the state government told the Centre that a detailed FIR on the event had been lodged by the police and two separate investigations into the violence were being carried out.
Also, the Mumbai police on Thursday denied permission for a proposed event at Bhaidas Hall in Vile Parle where dalit leader and Gujarat Independent MLA Jignesh Mewani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid were due to speak at a students’ meet.
The authorities imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC to prevent large groups of people assembling at the spot, which led to passive protests.
The two were booked by the Pune police for allegedly inciting violence that led to the death of a 28-year-old man at Bhima Koregaon, which led to the widespread protests across Maharashtra recently.