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Maharashtra Bandh: Over 250 Organisations Extend Support

Over 250 organisations have extended support to the Maharashtra Bandh, called jointly by the Left and the Ambedkarite organizations.
Maharashtra Bandh

Over 250 organisations have extended support to the Maharashtra Bandh, called jointly by the Left and the Ambedkarite organizations. The Bandh was called to protest the state government's failure to stop the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Pune district. Political parties including Communist Party of India (Marxist), Congress and Nationalist Congress Party have asked the people to join in large numbers to mark their protest against caste violence.

The Bandh has been called to denounce the January 1 attacks by casteist and communal forces on the lakhs of Dalits who have gathered to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district. This is the battle in which forces of the East India Company defeated the Peshwa’s army.

In a press statement, CPI(M) Maharashtra State committee called upon all the democratic and secular-minded people in the state to extend their full support to the joint Maharashtra Bandh call.

CPI(M) statement said, hoodlums engineered by the RSS and Shiv Sena parivars, flaunting saffron flags attacked the Dalits by throwing stones and setting cars on fire.

"The Bandh will also condemn the entire manner in which the BJP-led state government headed by Devendra Phadnavis handled the situation. It was nothing but reprehensible," CPI(M) added said in a press release.

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While referring to the caste clashes in Bhima Koregaon, Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr. BR Ambedkar, ruled out any conflict between Marathas and Dalits. "If there was any tension, the 200th-anniversary commemoration of the Bhima Koregaon battle would not have taken place. Yesterday's programme was organised by Sambhaji Brigade (a Maratha organisation)," he said addressing the press.

Ambedkar pointed out that the trouble occurred because of Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan, headed by Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, respectively. "Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Sabha (ABHS), Peshwa heirs, had opposed the event. We held talks with ABHS after which they decided against opposing," he said.

Meanwhile, the attack has triggered a political firestorm in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday with the BSP seeking a discussion. The Congress President Rahul Gandhi blasted at BJP and RSS saying that they want to see Dalits “remain at the bottom” of the society.

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