Maharashtra (peaceful) bandh called off, says Dalit leader Ambedkar
Mumbai, Jan. 3 (PTI): The day-long 'Maharashtra bandh' called by various Dalit and other organisations to protest the violence during the commemoration of Bhima-Koregaon battle has been withdrawn, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar said on Wednesday.
He told reporters that nearly 50 per cent of the state's population took part in the shutdown.
Ambedkar claimed that the bandh was peaceful.
But road blockades, arson and stone-pelting incidents were reported in Mumbai and elsewhere during the day.
In Mumbai, suburban train services were disrupted at Ghatkopar station on Wednesday morning, affecting services on Central Railway’s main line towards CSMT station.
Pune’s government-owned transport corporation said a dozen-odd buses had been stoned by mobs on Wednesday.
“Buses are being plied under instructions from the police,” an official of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd had said in the morning.
Dalits had called the shutdown after one of them died on Monday in clashes at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune that were sparked by upper-caste outfits protesting the decision of the Dalits to mark the 200th anniversary of a British-era battle in which Dalit soldiers fighting with the British had defeated the Peshwa.
Several private schools in Pune remained shut to be safe, although the government had not declared any holiday for educational institutions.
Vegetable supplies to the city had fallen by 20 per cent, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee said.
”On an average day, we receive 1000 trucks of vegetables and agriculture produce from various parts of the state…The supply dropped by 20 per cent today,” said an APMC officer-bearer.
The police have booked Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide for allegedly orchestrating the violence in Bhima-Koregaon, after which the battle is named on January 1.