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Bhima-Koregaon violence: 'Attempts being made to divide Maharashtra on caste lines', says Shiv Sena

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    With Maharashtra witnessing a spate of violence over the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, Shiv Sena on Wednesday alleged that it was all part of a political conspiracy to divide the state into caste lines.

    Speaking to news agency ANI, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act and bring perpetrators to book.

    Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut

    "Today, there is work underway to divide our state into caste lines, and all of it is a political conspiracy," Raut told ANI.

    Clashes between Dalit groups and supporters of right-wing Hindu organisations during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district had left a man dead on Monday.

    Violent protests erupted in Mumbai, Pune, and other cities across Maharashtra on Tuesday, with protesters damaging buses, blocking roads and railway lines and forcing shops to shut, a day after unrest in Pune district during celebrations to mark the bicentenary of a British-Peshwa war.

    In the wake of the violence that rocked the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district on Monday, Maharashtra is going to observe a state-wide bandh on Wednesday. Activist and grandson of BR Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar has given a call for a Maharashtra bandh.

    Prakash Ambedkar said Maharashtra Democratic Front, Maharashtra Left Front, besides 250 organisations, will be supporting Wednesday's shutdown.

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