The Mumbai Police on Sunday denied permission for the Elgaar March, which was scheduled to be held in the city on Monday. The march was to be led by Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) president Prakash Ambedkar.
Police asked organisers not to hold the march and to shift the protest to South Mumbai’s Azad Maidan.
Anticipating organisers might disrupt traffic and take to the street, the Mumbai Police has made sizeable deployment in and around South Mumbai. “Since the protest has been called amid the ongoing Assembly session, we cannot leave anything to chance and therefore, visible police deployment has been made near Azad Maidan and CST,” said an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Denying permission for the march, Zone 3 DCP Virendra Mishra wrote, “Since the march is scheduled on a working day, it will affect the daily routine of citizens. It will also cause inconvenience to schools and colleges, and especially to students appearing for their exams. Taking into consideration these factors, the permission for carrying out a march from Jijamata Udyaan has been denied.” The letter goes on to say, “Alternatively, you could organise the ‘march’ at Azad Maidan.”
Ambedkar has been demanding that the state arrest Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide. Prakash Ambedkar had set March 26 as the deadline for the arrest. The Pune Police had registered a case against Milind Ekbote and Bhide for allegedly inciting violence in Bhima Koregaon on January 1, which left one dead.