Dalit scholar's death: Protesters allege attack by RSS men

Protesters holding a march to express solidarity with Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula were allegedly assaulted by RSS activists, leading to a clash at Dharavi here.

Following the incident yesterday, an FIR was registered against a dozen people for rioting, police said today.

The protest was held by many groups of Dharavi including the Nationalist Forum under the banner of 'Justice for Rohith Joint Action Committee Mumbai'.

According to protesters, RSS members allegedly attacked them with stones and sticks which left at least a dozen demonstrators injured.

However, BJP leader and local MLA Tamil Selvan alleged the students from Nationalist Forum stopped at RSS office and started making unpleasant remarks about the organisation and its leaders.

Enraged RSS volunteers asked them to leave, failing which both groups clashed, said Selvan.

"We received cross complaints from both the sides and have slapped relevant sections of rioting against the accused.

One group of complainants has alleged that attackers belonged to RSS, which we are investigating," said Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahesh Patil.

Patil, however, did not reveal the identity of the alleged attackers and just said that police has registered a case.

The case was registered after protesters gathered outside the Dharavi police station last night demanding action against the culprits.

The injured are recuperating at a nearby hospital, said a police official. When contacted, a senior associate of RSS said, "We
are not aware about the incident. Let us get the details first."

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), that supported the protesting students, too alleged that RSS members resorted to violence and thrashed some of the protestors including women and demanded that the accused be charged under the Act against atrocities on dalits.

If strong action was not taken, it would give miscreants a free reign to foment trouble in the city, AAP spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon said.

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