Maharashtra bandh: Internet blocked, school buses off roads, cops on alert

BJP and other right-wing parties have accused Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani of inciting the Bhima-Koregaon violence


Maharashtra remained on edge after the anniversary of a battle fought 200 years ago brought to fore simmering caste tensions even as a statewide bandh called on Wednesday to protest the state government’s alleged failure to stop violence witnessed stray protest by Dalits.

Violence spilled over to adjoining parts of Maharashtra after clashes broke out between the Dalits and alleged right-wing groups on January 1, during the bicentenary celebration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle near Pune.

The right-wing groups were objecting to the observance of ‘Victory Day’ since they considered it to be an anti-national celebration.

Also read : Maharashtra bandh: Bhima Koregaon’s myth reinforces identities it seeks to transcend

In the battle, which was fought between the British East India Company, containing Dalits in its infantry, and the Peshwas, who were upper-caste Brahmins, at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818, the Marathas ultimately withdrew. Since then, the lower-caste communities have been viewing it as a symbolic victory for themselves.

Here are the top 10 developments:

1. Internet services have been suspended in Aurangabad to keep the spread of rumours in check.

2.In Mumbai, colleges and schools opened as usual but school buses stayed off roads as a precaution. One private school bus was stoned in Chembur but there were no injuries. Mumbai’s Dabbawala association on Tuesday decided not to run its delivery service, fearing the law and order issues in the city.

3. Air India and other domestic carriers have waived off cancellation for no-show due to the protests in Maharashtra, the Economic Times reported. The state-backed carrier said it won’t charge any fee for rescheduling flights from/to Mumbai on 2nd or 3rd January.

4. In wake of the ongoing protest against the Bhima Koregaon violence, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday advised the residents of the city neither to believe in rumours. Additional forces have been deployed at vulnerable areas in Pune, Thane, Mumbai. Section 144 has been imposed in Thane till January 4. Section 144 empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four people in an area...

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