Stray incidents of violence marred the 'Bharat Bandh', called by various Dalit organisations on Monday, and evoked partial response in Maharashtra, though Mumbai functioned near normally.The protests were called against the March 20 Supreme Court order, which, the Dalit groups contend, has diluted provisions of The Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.While Mumbai remained largely unaffected by the shutdown call, a group of Dalit activists of the Bhim Army staged noisy protests in Bandra outside the Mumbai Suburban District Collectorate.In Nagpur, a large number of protesters took the streets shouting slogans, attempted to stage road blocks and torched a public bus even as police chased away the demonstrators and the fire brigade snuffed out the blaze.Large groups of agitators took to the roads in Nandurbar, pelted stones at public buses and other vehicles, forcing the authorities to withdraw all bus services, and some educational institutions declared an off for the day.At least two persons were injured in stone-pelting incidents in Jalgaon and protestors stage road blocks in some parts of the district.
A large number of students attempted to block the Tapovan Express in Nanded, but were foiled by police.Several villages and towns in Palghar remained shut in response to the shutdown call and activists staged a block on the highway near Boisar.Addressing the media in Pune, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh President Prakash Ambedkar alleged that the Supreme Court is responsible for the violent incidents in different states during the nationwide shutdown call on Monday."This is the outcome of the apex court ruling and the government has done nothing to stop the protests. A Syria-type situation is developing in the country," warned Ambedkar, the grandson of the Architect of Indian Constitution B.R. Ambedkar.Meanwhile, police and other forces maintained a tight security all over Maharashtra to prevent any untoward incidents in the wake of the shutdown call.