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Dalit groups initiated bandh called off, Maharashtra limps back to normalcy

Wednesday,03 Jan 2018

ME News Bureau: Mumbai: The Maharashtra bandh to protest the state government's "failure" to halt the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Pune, has been called off in the afternoon. The bandh was declared by Prakash Ambedkar, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader.

Normalcy in Mumbai was majorly affected after Dalit protesters took to the streets on Tuesday on the aftermath of clashes between Dalits and Marathas at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on Monday.

On Wednesday, only a few cars were plied on the streets. Local trains service was also disturbed as protestors obstructed railway tracks at several places. The police lath charged the protesters, who vandalized auto-rickshaws, BEST and private buses. Several schools were shut for the day.

The Mumbai Police have directed citizens not to spread or believe rumors.

The agitation left a large number commuters stranded owing to fewer number of taxis, auto-rickshaws and other means of transport.

Shops were closed and Dalit agitators were seen holding rally at numerous places. They also stopped auto-rickshaws and buses at Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, Thane, and flattened bus tyres. In Powai area, there were also reports of BEST buses and a car being vandalized. In Vikhroli, an automobile showroom was allegedly attacked.

However, substantial security remains positioned in the Eastern Express Highway, and Ramabai Colony in Ghatkopar.

Early in the morning, agitators tried to stop a train at the Thane Railway Station. But the attempt was thwarted by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF).

Bus services towards Pune's Baramati and Satara were deferred, while Internet services were put off in Aurangabad - as precautionary measures.

A day after the Koregaon incident on January 1, violence erupted in Pune over the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Koregaon, which claimed the life of a Nanded youth.

Irate agitators blocked traffic and stopped railway services at various areas of the city while shops and business establishments were shut at Dadar, Kurla, Chembur, Mankhurd, Govand and Vikhroli.

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