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Police bar entry of low-caste leaders into central Indian town, ban peace march

Police bar entry of low-caste leaders into central Indian town, ban peace march

Thousands of police patrolled the town of Nagpur in central India on Monday to prevent demonstrations by low-caste groups against heavy-handed police action last week that left two people dead and 40 injured.
Nagpur police chief S.P.S. Yadav said leaders of the Republican Party of India were barred from entering the city in Maharashtra state and permission for a rally had been denied.
Last week, protests by low-caste Hindus turned violent. The low-caste groups, also known as dalits or untouchables, were objecting to the desecration last week of a statue of their leader, B.R. Ambedkar, in Kanpur city in northern India.
They burned vehicles and forced shops to shut across Maharashtra.
The Republican Party of India, a political party that takes up the cause of low-caste groups, had called for a peace rally in Nagpur on Monday to coincide with the first day of the state legislative assembly.
Yadav said members of the party including one of its top leaders, Ramdas Athavale, were detained by police on Monday for flouting the ban and entering the city.
"We are on the lookout for other leaders. Permission for the rally has been denied to maintain law and order," Yadav said.
The rally was also called to protest the deaths of four members of a low-caste family in a village near Nagpur on Sept. 29 after a property dispute. Police have since arrested 47 people in the case.
Nagpur is about 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of Mumbai, India's financial capital.


Updated : 2021-10-22 23:44 GMT+08:00