Insult to Ambedkar

Mumbai: Three persons were killed, including one in police firing in Osmanabad, and more than 60 injured during violent protests across Maharashtra following the alleged desecration of B R Ambedkar's statue in Kanpur, director general of police P S Pasricha said on Thursday.

Incidents of violence were reported from various parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Five coaches of the Pune-Mumbai Deccan Queen train were set on fire by protestors near Ulhasnagar in Thane district, a railway spokesperson said. However, there was no immediate report of any passenger being injured in the incident and all the protestors had been dispersed from the tracks, police said.

According to reports, agitators asked people to get out of the train before setting the coaches on fire.
Train services between Kalyan and Ambernath stations on the Central Railway line were affected and shuttle services are being run between Ambernath and Karjat, the spokesperson said, adding that there were rail rokos at Bhandup and Airoli stations in the morning that affected suburban train services briefly.

In Mumbai, at least 91 Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport buses were damaged in stone pelting across the city, an official spokesman said, adding that four drivers and a woman passenger were injured in these incidents.
Small groups of 15-20 people continued to protest against the incident in Dalit-dominated pockets in the north and north-east parts of Mumbai, police said, adding that incidents of stone pelting were reported from Trombay, Chembur, Kurla, Bhandup, Mulund and Navghar in northeast Mumbai. Stone-pelting incidents also occurred at Kherwadi, Kurar, Pali Hill in Bandra and Goregaon in northwest Mumbai.
There were also reports of protests in Kherwadi in Bandra east, where around 15 to 20 agitators pelted stones on passing vehicles on the arterial Western Express highway. The situation has been brought under control now.
In Thane, corporation-run buses are off the road due to stone pelting. A Municipal Transport Corporation bus going from Kalyan to Dombivili was set on fire at Manpada by a violent mob. Autorickshaws were also not plying in the city. Protestors have forced owners of shops and establishments to down shutters and only emergency services are operating.

According to police, over a dozen offences have been registered at various police stations in connection with the violent protests in Thane district and an unspecified number of persons have been arrested.

Sporadic incidents of violence have also been reported from the satellite township of Navi Mumbai.
Curfew has been clamped and extra police force deployed in Nandurbar town of north Maharashtra after a demonstration by Dalit organisations on Thursday turned violent, police said. Twenty-four persons were injured in the violence.
In Nashik district, Dalit activists tried to set afire a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus in Ambad area on Thursday, police said. Protesters had damaged 100 vehicles and set on fire a MSRTC bus at Sinnar-Phata in the district on Wednesday. MSRTC suspended its bus services to all routes in Nashik, affecting commuters, MSRTC officials said.
Stone-pelting was also reported in Bhim Nagar locality in Nashik Road area, where commercial establishments and banks remained closed. The functioning of educational institutions too were adversely affected here, police said.
Three persons were arrested for allegedly lynching Dalit youth Rangnath Shankar Dhale, 23, on Wednesday night on Jail Road, police said. Dhale's body was brought to the Nashik civil hospital for autopsy and will be cremated later in the day at Nashik Road.
Meanwhile, the state government has announced a financial aid of Rs 1 lakh and government job to the next of kin of the slain Dalit youth.
Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who toured trouble-torn localities of Nashik Road and Vihitgaon on Thursday, visited Dhale's house at Muktidham and announced the financial assistance and job. He also assured free treatment to Dhale's ailing father.
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