Mumbai: In a fresh development, Mumbai Police have cancelled an event that was to be attended by newly-elected Gujarat MLA and Dalit crusader Jignesh Mevani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid, amid massive protests at the venue.
Khalid, who had been charged with sedition along with Kanhaiya Kumar in 2016, was to speak at noon in the 35th edition of the annual all-India summit organised by Chhatra Bharati Vidyarthi at Bhaidas Hall in Vile Parle (W) on Thursday, and Mevani at the concluding ceremony.
Police has also prohibited assembly around Mithibai College.
Demanding the release of the detained students, scores of students squatted outside the Juhu police station raising anti-government slogans.
He also denied instigating violence at Bhima Koregaon and said he had never visited the place or participated in the shutdown. However, it has decided now to hold a press conference to be addressed by Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid, and re-convene the summit on January 10 despite the crackdown.
Maharashtra legislator Kapil Patil said around 800 students and delegates including many girls were dumped into police vans and taken to various police stations where they were detained for several hours. The statements given by Mevani and Khalid allegedly triggered the subsequent violence and riots in Pune on January 1, left one man dead.
Additional Commissioner of Police Ravindra Sengaonkar said: "In the speeches delivered on December 31, Mevani and Khalid had made some provocative statements".
"Umar Khalid and Jignesh Mevani have been invited at this event here, this had been fixed earlier", said Sagar Bhalerao of the Chhatra Bharati.
Violence flared up across Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra as Marathas and Dalits clashed with each other.
The FIR comes a day after cases was registered against two pro-Hindutva leaders, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, on charges of orchestrating the violence during celebrations to mark the battle.
It is believed that his call for action and revolution may have inspired thousands of Dalit activists who took to the streets in across different cities of Maharashtra on Wednesday, disrupted public transport, and threw normal life out of gear.