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Dalit protest calls for strike, Maharashtra Govt imposes section 144

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday imposed Section 144 in Thane district till midnight of January 4 after Dalit protesters took to the streets on the second consecutive day in Mumbai over Bhima Koregaon violence.

A few protesters tried to halt a train at Thane Railway Station, but were immediately cleared off by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) officials.

The protesters also halted buses, auto-rickshaws at Lal Bahadur Shastri Road in Thane and deflated bus tyres.

Heavy security has been deployed in Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Colony and Eastern Express Highway to avoid any untoward incident.

The Mumbai police has advised residents to not believe or spread rumors. Police administration is geared up to deal with any untoward situation, it said.

As a precautionary measure, bus services towards Pune’s Baramati and Satara have been suspended till further orders. Internet services have been suspended in Aurangabad.

A day after Koregaon, violence erupted in Pune on Monday over the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Koregaon, claiming the life of a Nanded youth.

Angry protesters blocked traffic and halted railway services at numerous parts of the city while shops and business establishments were shut at Chembur, Vikhroli, Mankhurd, Kurla, Dadar and Govandi.

The police lathi-charged to disperse the protesters, who vandalised auto rickshaws, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport  and private buses. Several schools were closed down.

Meanwhile, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader Prakash Ambedkar has called for Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday to protest the state government’s “failure” to stop the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Pune district on Monday.

Ambedkar alleged that Hindu Ekta Aghadi was responsible for the violence.

(With inputs from agencies)

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