Disruptive protests were held in Mumbai on Tuesday, January 2, by members of the Dalit (lower caste). Some stores were closed, and a heavy police presence has been reported in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai. Demonstrators blocked several major roads in the city, including the Sion Panvel highway. Train service was disrupted at the Govandi and Chembur stations, but has returned to normal as of Tuesday afternoon (local time).
The Dali community is calling for a state-wide bandh (general strike) to be held on Wednesday, January 3. Further demonstrations and transportation disruptions are likely in the coming hours, particularly in Mumbai.
Protests broke out on January 2 after a member of the Dalit community was killed during commemorative events on Monday, January 1, marking the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. Violent clashes between the Dalit demonstrators and right-wing Hindu groups that opposed the celebrations. On January 1, 1818, British East India Company forces, supported by soldiers from the Mahar community, defeated the army of Peshwa Baji Rao II, the last ruler of the Maratha Empire.
Individuals in Maharashtra state, particularly in Mumbai, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and allow additional time to travel.
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