About 350 protesters allegedly led by Prakash Ambedkar of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) tried to barge into the Siddharth College run by the Peoples Education Society founded by Dr BR Ambedkar in south Mumbais Fort area on Friday demanding that the Trust be handed over to them claiming they had an order from the Charity Commissioners office.
The protesters also clashed with police and blocked traffic in the area. Police officers said the protesters assaulted eight policemen. The police had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. Fifty-one protesters were arrested by the Azad Maidan Police and charged with rioting.
Our officers rushed to the spot and managed to get everything under control, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Rajnish Seth.
Officers revealed that the incident took place outside the college at 1 pm on Friday.
Nearly 350 protesters of the Prakash Ambedkar group came to the spot and tried to take over the college. There is some internal issue that is going on and we asked them not to break the law. The protesters staged a rasta-roko and halted traffic. When our personnel tried moving them,they shoved our personnel and assaulted them. Eight of our men were injured. We had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse the crowd, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) Cherring Dorje.
Dorje said the police nabbed 51 protesters and booked them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Bombay Police Act.
Of the 51 booked,35 are men and 16 are women. We booked them for rioting,obstructing a public servant under IPC sections,besides the Bombay Police Act, said Dorje.
The protesters were taken to Azad Maidan Police Station,while some of them were held at Colaba Police Station. They were all granted bail by Friday evening on a cash bond of Rs 5,000.
In a bid to ensure that protesters would not attempt to force their way into the college,platoons of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF),Riot Control Police,and several personnel from various police stations of the South Region were deployed outside the college.
Sources revealed that police were also investigating the possibility of Prakash Ambedkar,who is a grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar,having been among the crowd when the protesters turned violent. If we find any proof of him being involved in the attacks on our personnel,we will take appropriate action, said an officer,refusing to be named.
We were taking possession of the place and we had an order from the Charity Commissioner in our favour, said Bhimrao Ambedkar,another grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar .