The caste violence was allowed to spill on to Mumbai as normal routine was thrown out of gear due to the Dalit and Maratha communities clash at the 200th anniversary observance of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune. This celebration is held to commemorate the January 1,1818 triumph of British forces over Peshwa Bajirao II’s troops in Koregaon Bhima. The Dalits were members of the British troops. Pune was made a flashpoint for the protest and buses plus vehicles were torched and razed in Hadaspar and inside Fursungi, as a result facilities to primary centres such as Ahmednagar and Aurangabad remained unoperational. Traffic came to a screeching halt and shops and commercial centers were closed at many places due to the clarion call given by Dalit groups for “rasta rook” after the death of a youth from their community in the clashes. Train services at Mulund, Bhandup, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar at Vikhroli and Nehru Nagar in Kurla. Even the Shiv Sena’s Chembur office was ransacked. The epicenter of the discontent was in the Sion Panvel Highway close to Chembur. The highway traffic was stopped by the protestors and the passages to Navi Mumbai were closed. The protestors headed towards Ambedkar Garden but failed due to the deployment of a massive police contingent.
Meanwhile, the Maratha community members also held their demonstration at Pune and accused the other community for the turmoil.
The government undertook the damage-control exercise and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis called for a judicial inquiry into the episode. The order for probe was denounced by Prakash Ambedkar, ex MP and B R Ambedkar’s grandson who gave a call for statewide bandh.
The Dalit protest had flared up in an unprecedented way and Chembur and Mulund were the worst affected. The turning of the Pune district into a war belt happened after a clash between two communities broke out. Different news media both local and national reported that the disturbances erupted after efforts were made at Dalit suppression. But what they ignored was the fact that were the caste clashes in Maharashta engineered by Jignesh Mewani, the MLA from Gujarat who fought the elections from terror sympathizer’s fund, as it is well known that Jignesh received funds from the terror outfit under the NIA’s radar the PFI. Yes, Jignesh Mewani’s name had featured as the cops doubt that he had incited the mob to resort to violence. He was heard talking of taking the dalit fight towards a street war and besides him was seen Umar Khalid of Bharat Ki Barbadi brigade and as usual ‘fear mongering’ and is the same person who shouted invectives against India from the JNU campus.
The fact that invites suspicion is that earlier each year the number of attendees to the celebrations were restricted to only 15,000 persons. How come almost 3 lakhs people attended the celebrations this time? Was then the riots preplanned by the so called anti-Modi forces?
Rahul Gandhi’s statements also appear doubtful as one can check out from his tweet:
“A central pillar of the RSS/BJP’s fascist vision for India is that Dalits should remain at the bottom of Indian society. Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima-Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance”
The desperate politicians have unleashed mob on expressway and on the streets. Sporadic protests are being carried on the streets and Chembur is one such vulnerable area. It is carried out on the eastern suburbs of Mumbai. Some protesters were also on the eastern expressway highway.
But, the sentiment on the ground is that due to the bandh and imposition of section 144 in Bhima-Koregaon, the residents are facing difficulties and want to reject such divisive caste politics. Furthermore, the tweet from the Mumbai police also observed,” 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”.