Indian caste protests hit Mumbai

Police stand guard at during a protest in Mumbai. Members of the Dalit community obstructed roads, damaged buses and marched down railway tracks, delaying train services, which are the lifeline of India’s bustling financial capital. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2018
0

Indian caste protests hit Mumbai

MUMBAI: Demonstrators from India’s lowest caste blocked roads and railways across Mumbai on Wednesday in protest against violence involving Hindu nationalist groups at an event commemorating a 200-year-old battle.
Members of the Dalit community obstructed roads, damaged buses and marched down railway tracks, delaying train services, which are the lifeline of India’s bustling financial capital.
Some schools and business opted to close as a precaution while the city’s famous lunchbox delivery men, called “Dabbawalas,” also canceled their services.
The protests came in response to violence, which broke out at a ceremony in a village near Pune in Maharashtra state on Monday, leaving one man dead.
Dalits had gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in 1818, in which they helped British colonial forces defeat the high-caste Peshwas.
Dalit leaders accused right-wing Hindus of inciting Monday’s clashes, which spread to other areas of Maharashtra of which Mumbai is the capital.
The state government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the clashes.
Mumbai police said more than 100 demonstrators had been arrested and nine cases of unlawful activity had been registered.
On Wednesday politicians called for a peaceful end to the violence.
“There is an attempt to create a social divide which we have to foil unitedly,” said Neelam Gorhe, a leader of the right-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena.


US general shot in last week’s Taliban attack

Airman 1st Class Italia Sampson closes a vehicle holding a transfer case containing the remains of Army Sgt. James A. Slape at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP)
Updated 52 min 38 sec ago
0

US general shot in last week’s Taliban attack

  • Smiley was assigned in the summer to lead a Kandahar-based command with a mission to train and advise Afghan security forces

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has confirmed that US Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was shot in a Taliban attack that killed two Afghan leaders in Kandahar province last week.
US military spokesman Cmdr. Grant W. Neeley provided no other details. The Washington Post reported earlier Sunday that Smiley was recovering after suffering at least one gunshot wound while he was inside the Kandahar governor’s compound.
The Taliban assassinated two top provincial officials Thursday in an attack on a security conference attended by the top US military commander in the country, Gen. Scott Miller. He escaped injury.
Smiley was assigned in the summer to lead a Kandahar-based command with a mission to train and advise Afghan security forces and help with counterterrorism operations in southern Afghanistan.