Prakash Ambedkar Leads Rally To Seek Arrest Of Bhima-Koregaon Violence Accused

Some 50,000 people attended the rally in Mumbai, leading to traffic jam in south Mumbai throughout the day

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Prakash Ambedkar led the rally to Mumbai's Azad Maidan after police denied permission


Mumbai:  The massive protest by Dalits in Mumbai has ended after Prakash Ambedkar addressed a gathering at Mumbai's Azad Maidan. Dr BR Ambedkar's grandson and Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar had transformed his "Elgar March" protest into a demonstration at Azad Maidan, after the police denied permission for the rally citing traffic and logistical issues.

Some 50,000 people attended the rally in Mumbai, leading to traffic jam in south Mumbai throughout the day.

Mr Ambedkar had given an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government to arrest right wing leader Sambhaji Bhide, also known as Guruji, before March 26 or prepare for protests. Today's march was organised to follow up on that ultimatum.

Mr Ambedkar alleged that Sambhaji Bhide was as much responsible as Milind Ekbote for provoking the January 1 violence in Bhima-Koregaon. A day later, Mumbai also saw violent protests against the incident at Bhima-Koregaon with several acts of arson and vandalism.

Milind Ekbote was arrested on March 14. Mr Ambedkar announced that they were planning to hold the protest with minimum inconvenience to the public. But after the police denied permission, they assembled at Azad Maidan, which led to traffic chaos.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in the assembly, had said the government had made arrangements considering that huge crowds were expected at Koregaon. "There was stone-pelting from both sides. Even the police were targeted. The SP (superintendent of police) was also hit by stones," Mr Fadnavis had told the assembly.

The government has promised to withdraw cases filed during protests after the Bhima-Koregaon violence, except for those who have been caught vandalising public property. Mr Ambedkar met with the chief minister on Monday afternoon to press for the demand of arresting Sambhaji Bhide.


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