Bhima-Koregaon Violence: High Alert In UP, MP And Gujarat As Protests Spread

| January 5 , 2018 , 08:29 IST

A high alert has been announced in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat over concerns that the protests over the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune might spread. While an alert was sounded in Gujarat on Thursday as well, the protests spread to the state regardless.

Due to the protests, properties worth Rs 300 crore were damaged and 90 buses were gutted by protesters in Maharashtra and Gujarat. On Thursday, 300 persons were detained by the Mumbai Police on charges of inciting mob, indulging in violence and rioting.

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Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid were arrested on Thursday, in connection with the "provocative" statements they made at the "Elgar Parishad" event in Pune, which allegedly sparked the protests.

The Elgar Parishad event was organised to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon which holds great significance for the Dalit community. In the battle, soldiers from the Mahar community considered to be Dalits, along with forces of the British East India Company defeated the Peshwas .

After the speeches by Mevani and Khalid, protests broke out between Dalit groups and supporters of right-wing Hindutva groups, leaving one man dead, due to which there were even more wide-spread protests.