Dalit-Maratha Violence: Maharashtra Bandh On Wednesday

Violence on Monday led to a death of a person - Sakshi Post

Prakash Ambedkar's Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) has called for Maharashtra bandh tomorrow to protest the state government's "failure" to stop the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Pune district on Monday. Maharashtra Democratic Front, Maharashtra Left Front, besides 250 organisations, have supported tomorrow's shutdown. Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, has appealed for peace during the bandh period.

The event to mark 200th 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 on Monday, with at least one person 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. Monday's violence sparked off protests in various parts of Maharashtra on Tuesday, including in Mumbai where protesters staged a rail roko in suburban Chembur. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a judicial probe into the incident by a sitting judge of the High Court.

Referring to the caste clashes in Bhima Koregaon, Ambedkar ruled out any conflict between Marathas and Dalits. "If there was any tension, the 200th anniversary commemoration of the Bhima Koregaon battle would not have taken place. Yesterday's programme was organised by Sambhaji Brigade (a Maratha organisation)," he said while addressing a press conference. "Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Sabha (ABHS), Peshwa heirs, had opposed the event. We held talks with ABHS after which they decided against opposing," he said. Ambedkar alleged that Hindu Ekta Aghadi was responsible for the violence.

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