Mumbai: Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh over the protests seen in the aftermath of Pune’s Koregaon Bhima riots, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the ruling central party had a “fascist vision for India”.
And, a “central pillar” of this vision is that “Dalits should remain at the bottom of Indian society”, Gandhi continued. ” Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima-Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance,” the Congress chief tweeted, referring to the Una flogging and Rohith Vemula suicide.
Gandhi’s tweet came after a day of unrest in Mumbai and Pune. Both the cities saw sporadic instances of violence following the death of a man during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the of the Koregaon-Bhima battle in Pune yesterday.
Every year on January 1, Dalits march to the Koregaon Bhima battle memorial in Pune in order to mark the anniversary of the 1818 Battle of Koregaon, in which the Britishers defeated an army of Peshwas.
Yesterday, a group opposed to the celebration of the anniversary of the battle got into an argument with a crowd of Dalits. In the ensuing melee a man was killed.
The Maharashtra government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the death even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked people to refrain from believing rumours. He also asked political parties not to make “decisive statements” even as the Opposition alleged that right-wing organisations had perpetrated Monday’s violence.
The sentiment was echoed by Dalit leader and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash who called for a Maharshtra bandh tomorrow and alleged that the perpetrators of yesterday’s violence had the “tactic support” of the Fadnavis government.
Meanwhile, the situation in Mumbai remains tense with police detaining more than 100 protestors. Air India and Jet Airways have waived their cancellation fees to flights in and out of Mumbai even as the city’s traffic police made arrangements for road diversions.