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Maharashtra bandh: Police on high alert, prohibitory orders likely to be invoked if needed

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    Mumbai, Jan 3: 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.

    The bandh has been called by Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader Prakash Ambedkar to protest against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government's "failure" to stop the violence at Bhima-Koregaon village leading to the death of one person.

    maharashtra bandh

    On Tuesday, Dalit groups staged protests bringing normal life to a halt in various parts of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai. Along with creating traffic snarls, protesters indulged in vandalism destroying public property, including buses.

    Looking at the tense situation, the Maharashtra Police have made elaborate arrangements to thwart any untoward incidents.

    The state police department has kept additional force on standby. Reports say the department is even planning to invoke prohibitory orders if needed in response to the state-wide bandh called by Dalit leaders.

    "We have made elaborate arrangements to keep the situation under control in view of the bandh. Extra forces have been kept on standby. Some areas have been identified where the internet could be suspended so people cannot spread rumours on social media," DGP Satish Mathur told The Indian Express.

    "Regulatory orders, which include Section 37 of Maharashtra (Bombay) Police Act and Section 144 of CrPC can also be used if the situation demands," he added.

    Students are likely to face trouble as schools have decided to remain open on Wednesday, in spite of a bandh. A school bus owners' association said buses will not ply in the morning on Wednesday, which is surely going to cause inconvenience to children and their parents.

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