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Mumbai: Dalit leader's arrest rumours spark road blockade

December 02, 2006 01:11 IST

A nearly 1,000-strong crowd staged a brief road blockade at sensitive the Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar locality in Mumbai on Friday night following rumours that Republican Party of India member of Parliament Ramdas Athavale has been arrested in Kanpur, the city police chief said.

There were, however, no reports of stone-pelting or violence during the agitation on the Eastern Express highway at suburban Ghatkopar.

"Ramdas Athavale was on his way to Kanpur to visit the site where the desecration of an Ambedkar statue had taken place two days ago. He was, however, stopped before he could enter Kanpur and sent back to New Delhi by local authorities, which triggered the rumours of his arrest," Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy told PTI.

According to the police, the protestors, who blocked the key highway at around 10.30 pm, were dispersed soon.

Mumbai and its adjoining areas witnessed violent protests in the last two days over the Kanpur incident.

Meanwhile,14 people were arrested for allegedly burning bogies of the Deccan Queen and a local train during protests, police said on Friday.

"We have arrested them for setting the trains afire on Thursday, assaulting government servants and causing damage to public property at Ulhasnagar station," Railway Police Commissioner Suresh Khopde told PTI.

Thirteen other people were arrested for resorting to violence in the suburbs of Bhandup and Kherwadi during the protests, police said.

A total of 322 people were arrested and released on bail for taking out rallies in various parts of Mumbai, they added.

In Thane, 22 people were arrested for indulging in violent activities in various parts of the district while another 88 were detained, police said.

Curfew has been clamped in Osmanabad, Nanded, Hingoli and the divisional headquarter Aurangabad in Marathwada region, as a precautionary measure in the backdrop of the continuing violence by Dalit groups.

Barring few incidents of arson and stone-pelting, the situation in the district towns of Beed, Parbhani, Jalna and Latur was peaceful, police sources added.

With UNI inputs

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