The desecration of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s statue in distant Kanpur sparked fury in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra on Thursday. There were violent incidents as Dalits set trains on fire, disrupted traffic and damaged property.
Two persons were killed in police firing at Osmanabad and more than 100 injured across the state. Curfew was clamped in Osmanabad, Latur and Nanded.
At Ulhasnagar, protesters burnt seven bogies of the Deccan Queen -- which plies between Mumbai and Pune -- and six bogies of two Ambernath-bound Mumbai local trains.
Suburban trains in Mumbai ran late, while the eastern and western express highways of the city were blocked by violent mobs at some places. Several schools and colleges shut early.
The state government and police were caught unprepared. “We cannot come out too aggressively against emotional crowds that were understandably upset at the statue’s desecration,” said Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil.