Video: Mumbai Police Says Situation Under Control despite protests

Jan 02, 2018, 14:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Hundreds of members of The Republican Party of India (RPI) came down on roads in Chembur shutting shops on Tuesday at around 12.30 pm. The Dalit groups are seeking bandh in Mumbai with many stalling train operations at Mulund, Chembur, Bhandup

Chembur newsProtestors at Chembur. Pic/Twitter

Hundreds of members of The Republican Party of India (RPI) came down on roads in Chembur shutting shops on Tuesday at around 12.30 pm. The Dalit groups are seeking bandh in Mumbai with many stalling train operations at Mulund, Chembur, Bhandup.

Incidences of stone-pelting and rasta-roko were reported in Chembur, Amar Mahal, and other areas.

Mumbai Police said, "Don’t believe in rumours. Traffic on Eastern expressway was affected due to protests. It’s moving now. Traffic at Chembur Naka is still affected. There is nothing to panic.  Verify facts with police officers and men before posting anything on social media."

The Mulund Panch Rasta was blocked by Mulund Panch Rasta. The Mumbai police are making arrangements to avoid any unfortunate event.

The clashes happened just a day after a day after the anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district, in which forces of the East India Company defeated Peshwa's army, was marred by incidents of violence today, with at least one person getting killed. Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory, as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community -- then considered untouchable -- were part of the East India Company's forces. However, some right-wing groups in Pune had expressed opposition to the celebration of the `British' victory.

Incidents of stone-pelting and vandalism occurred at Bhima Koregaon in Shiroor tehsil today afternoon when people were heading for the war memorial in the village, police said. A man died in the violence, a top police official told PTI late in the evening. However, his identity and how exactly he died was not known yet, the officer said. The violence erupted after a local group and some members of the crowd on its way to the memorial had an argument over some issue. "Stone-pelting started after the argument. During the violence, some vehicles and a house in the vicinity were damaged," a police officer deployed for security at Bhima Koregaon said without elaborating. He said the police stopped traffic on the Pune-Ahmednagar highway for some time following the incident. The situation in the village is under control now, he said.

"More police personnel, including companies of the State Reserve Police Force, have been deployed," the officer said. He said mobile phone networks were also blocked for some time to stop the circulation of inflammatory messages. The battle of Bhima Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818. Some Dalit leaders and thinkers view its outcome as a victory of oppressed classes over the upper-caste establishment of those times.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale demanded police protection for Dalits in the wake of today's violence. "Dalit groups visiting Bhima Koregaon were stopped at Sanaswadi near Koregaon. Stones were hurled at them. No police force was available for their protection," Athawale said in a statement.

He appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to deploy additional police force in the village and provide protection to the members of the local Dalit community.

-with agency inputs

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