Maharashtra bandh total in 2nd capital

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jan 2018 10:00:34


Staff Reporter,

Markets remained closed, traffic affected

Nine buses ransacked, one person injured

The Maharashtra bandh called by BRP-BMS leader Prakash Ambedkar and supported by many Dalit groups on Wednesday, to protest against violent incident at Bhima-Koregaon, was a near-total in the second capital of State.
All market places including Sitabuldi, Gandhibag, Itwari, Mahal, remained closed throughout the day. The protesters ransacked buses, set an auto-rickshaw on fire to enforce the bandh, and also vandalised shops and ATMs during the day-long protests.

This time, the cops have high resolution pictures of rowdy protesters who vandalised public property and indulged in violent activity, thanks to CCTV cameras installed at all prominent squares. Identity of trouble mongers will be ascertained very soon so that appropriate action can be initiated against them.

From early Wednesday morning, city police personnel were deployed at sensitive locations including Indora, Panchpaoli, Kadbi Chowk, Dighori, Shatabdi square, Hingna, Gittikhadan, Indora, Jaripatka, Manewada Square anticipating gathering of huge mob.
Disregarding police presence, the protesters gathered and launched heavy protest across city.

The protesters took out march in many areas to enforce bandh. They resorted to high-handed tactics in areas when faced resistance. In some areas, the protesters pelted stones and burnt tyres on roads. Since early hours, incidents of sporadic violence were reported from Indora, Kamal Chowk, Takli Sim, Shatabdi square, Dighori, Sakkardara, Hill Top, Imambada, Medical square, Tukdoji square, Mate square, Wadi, MIDC and Kadbi Chowk areas.
Police Inspectors of respective police stations were on the spot. In some areas, the protesters went on rampage as cops’ strength was low.

As the information of response to bandh in other parts of State was reaching here through television, following which number of protesters increased rapidly and large mobs started gathering in sensitive areas, post-noon. Some protesters took out two-wheeler rally in support of the bandh.

In many areas like Jaitala, women and small children also participated in the protest rallies and indulged in inflammatory sloganeering. The protesters frequently blocked Nagpur-Amravati highway for quite some time. Most schools as a matter of precaution asked students to stay at home and majority of school buses also stayed off road.

According to information, protesters vented their anger on Soni Surgicals located in Indora when the owner decided to keep the pharmacy open for the needy. Refusing to accept that medicines fall under essential commodities, the unruly mob resorted to heavy stone-pelting forcing the shop owner down shutters. Police deployed at the square witnessed the incident as spectators and wished not to aggravate the situation. Later, the shop owner lodged a complaint at Pachpaoli Police Station.

Rasta roko on various roads affected movement of traffic in many parts of the city. Motorists had to wedge through jams as diversions were put in place at many spots due to road-blockades. Though, the protesters allowed ambulances and school buses to pass-by safely.

A mob of over 5,000 protesters gathered at Indora square since afternoon. A group of protesters torched posters of Khasdar Sanskrutik Mahotsav that were put up in the area. The roads were cleared and traffic was restored after Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh President Adv. Prakash Ambedkar announced withdrawal of the bandh call around 4.30 pm. However, incidents of violence were reported in Indora till late evening. Police conducted a route march in the area to maintain law and order.



Protest at Savidhan square

After protesting across city, members of many Dalit groups gathered at Samvidhan square to condemn the Bhima Koregaon incident. After gathering near Dr Ambedkar statue, the protesters moved to centre of Samvidhan square and blocked traffic.

The mob resorted to heavy sloganeering against the government and demanded arrest of Sambhaji Bhide Guruji and Milind Ekbote. As a preventive measure, DCP Zone II Rakesh Ola, who was In-charge of the bandobast, called ‘Vajra’, the riot control van and ‘Varun’, the water canon. Quick Response Team and Riot Control Police were also deployed in the area. About an hour after the demonstration, the protesters dispersed peacefully having made their point.

9 buses vandalised, MMRCL jeep torched

The unruly mob targeted eight Star buses and a private bus during the protest on Wednesday to ensure that the bandh call gets the desired effect.
According to police, buses were ransacked at Beltarodi, Bahadura Fata, Pardi, Sitabuldi, Kamptee, Shanti Nagar and Lashkaribag.
A private bus was also vandalised in Kamptee. The bus attendant sustained minor injuries in the incident of arson.
Also, the protesters torched a pick-up van of MMRCL at 10 Number Bridge.

Cops resort to mild lathi-charge

The police resorted to mild lathi-charge to control unruly mob in some of the sensitive areas.
According to information, the Ajni police resorted to lathi-charge at Shatabdi square when the mob attempted to torch a tyre and blocked traffic. Use of mild force on part of police teams was also reported from Sim Takli, Hingna and Kamal Chowk areas.

Political leaders skip protest

Political leaders from national political parties remained off the scene. The mob of protesters was leaderless. The protesters were carrying banners of social organisations. Even during heavy protests at Indora square and Samvidhan square, no big-wig from any major political party came to lead the protest and the protesters were on their own.


Protesters booked

For staging protests in some parts without prior intimation and permission, on Tuesday, city police have registered offences against the protesters. Sitabuldi police have booked Dinesh Andarsahare, Tushar Nandagavali, Sagar Dabrase, Amitesh Suryawanshi, Aman Kamble under Sections 143, 147, 149, 341 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 135 of the Bombay Police Act.

Wadi police have booked Roshan Somkuwar, Nishant Lonare, Rakesh Ramteke, Siddharth Khobragade and others under Sections 143, 147, 149, 435 and 34 of the IPC.
Old Kamptee police have booked unidentified four persons for vandalising a bus in Kamptee town while New Kamptee police have booked Sanghapal Wasnik (42), Ashish Bagade, Sanket Fule, Nikhil Gajbhiye under Sections 427, 336 and 34 of the IPC for ransacking a MSRTC bus on Tuesday.


Protest at Umred

Activists belonging to various organisations and political parties staged demonstrations and resorted to road-blockade disrupting vehicular traffic for a brief period at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar square on Nagpur-Umrer highway during the protest. The activists of Ambedkar Vichar Manch, Sambhaji Brigade, Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, BSP, Congress and NCP took out a rally from the main road of the town and later submitted a memorandum to SDM J P Londhe, Umrer. Sanjay Meshram, Zaibunnisatai Sheikh, Mahadeo Sorte, Ganesh Gawande, Satish Tulaskar, Haridas Pangu and others were prominently present.