Who was Behind Bhima Koregaon Violence?

Mumbaikars read newspapers outside closed shops in Dadar on Wednesday

Several Dalit organisations lead by DalitaSanghatanegala Samanvaya Samiti staged protests here on Thursday against the violence in Maharashtra after the observation of theBhima-Koregaon battle bicentenary. Following this, while the celebrations at the Bhima Koregaon was taking place, Hindutva groups led a procession in the village causing violent clashes.

Samiti convener Vittal Doddamaini addressing a rally said that inthe Bhima-Koregaon battle the dalits who fought for British EastIndia Company defeated the Peshwa army comprising Marathas.

The editorial questioned the capability of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis government, which is "not able to control the ongoing chaos in the state". Here, Congress accused both the BJP and RSS of Bhima Koregaon incident while BJP accused Congress of creating communal tension. Since the Peshwas, who were Brahmins, were seen as oppressors of Dalits, the victory of the Mahar soldiers over the the Peshwa force is seen as Dalit assertion.

Protesters attacked buses, stopped suburban trains and blocked roads at various places in Mumbai as normal life was hit in the city and other parts of Maharashtra during the bandh. Dalits began protests in suburban Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kamraj Nagar, Vikhroli, Dindoshi, Kandivali, Jogeshwari, Kalanagar and Mahim, police said.

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The Pune police also said that they have received a complaint against Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students leader Umar Khalid for their alleged provocative speeches at an event in Pune on December 31. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Priyadarshini, Kurla, Sidharth Colony and Amar Mahal areas on the Eastern Express Highway, took out processions and raised slogans against the government and the administration. The state is expected to be under a tight security blanket for a week.

The Mumbai Police has advised residents to not believe or spread rumours. Since Tuesday, 42 buses were damaged in stone pelting and since today morning, 10 to 12 busses were damaged, he said.

"People from other states are coming in Maharashtra and carrying out such activities", the editorial stated. "(NCP chief) Sharad Pawar has already said that everybody should try to ensure that there is peace and harmony", Tatkare said. "The police find it hard to manage crowds and they have to undergo severe stress to bring situation under control during bandh". The leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said the violence was unfortunate and condemnable.

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