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Nashik protests: RPI calls for bandh
November 30, 2006 01:18 IST
Last Updated: November 30, 2006 12:35 IST
The situation in Nashik, which witnessed violence during a protest against the alleged vandalisation of a statue of B R Ambedkar in Kanpur, remained tense but under control.
Republican Party of India called for a bandh in Nashik on Thursday to protest the desecration of a statue of Dr Ambedkar and the killing of a Dalit youth during the demonstrations.
23-year-old Rangnath Shankar Dhale, a resident of Muktidham in Nashik, was beaten to death by a mob which allegedly found him pelting stones at vehicles on Nashik Road during protests against the vandalisation of the Ambedkar statue in Kanpur.
Police said security has been beefed up and State Reserve Police Force personnel have been deployed in the trouble-torn areas.
The RPI and other organisations have given a call for bandh on Thursday.
Activists of Dalit groups and various factions of RPI took to the streets in Pune, Nashik and Mumbai protesting the vandalisation. One bus was set on fire and over 25 vehicles, including 5 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation buses, were damaged in stone-pelting, police said.
The protestors burnt tyres at several places, obstructing vehicular traffic. In the textile town of Malegaon, unidentified persons pelted stones at three temples, police said.
Shopkeepers had to down shutters on the busy Subhash Road, Jail Road, Dutta Mandir Road of Nashik and around the railway station due to stone pelting on Wednesday.
At least 10 vehicles were damaged in stone pelting by RPI activists in north-east Mumbai.
In Kanpur, locals damaged several vehicles and held up traffic after passers-by noticed the damaged statue at Ambedkar Nagar on Wednesday morning.
In Pune, over 50 private and public vehicles were damaged in stone-pelting in at least half a dozen localities, police said.
At least four persons, including two policemen, were injured in the stone pelting.
While a Pune Municipal Corporation bus driver and an autorickshaw driver were hurt in Swargate locality, two policemen were injured at Pimpri Chinchwad, an industrial township about 25 km from Pune. A mob also tried to set ablaze a fire brigade tender in Pimpri Chinchwad. So far, three cases of rioting have been registered.
Additional police forces has been deployed to contain any spread of violence and bring the situation under control in Pune, police added.
Meanwhile, in the western Maharashtra district of Ahmednagar, state-owned buses and private vehicles were the target of the protestors, police sources said.