AmbedkarCreative Commons/ JAIBHIM5/ Aurangabad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University

Pune witnessed violence once again on Sunday (8 June), after objectionable images of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar went viral on social networking site Facebook.

The morphed pictures were posted online on Saturday night, triggering protests in parts of Pune, Aurangabad and Solapur on Sunday. Although the police blocked the online pages of social networking sites, which had the distorted images of Ambedkar, protestors took to the streets and pelted stones on buses.

Sinhagad Road, Dandekar bridge, Pimpri, Kalewadi and Bhatnagar are some of the areas that have been affected by the protests. As many as 25 buses were damaged in the city, which prompted the police authorities to beef up security measures, reported the Hindustan Times.

"The protesters damaged public transport buses at different locations including Sinhgad road and Kalyani nagar in Pune and Kalewadi and Bhatnagar in neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad,"
HT quoted Deepak Pardesh, PRO, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited, the municipal transport body. 

Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Sanjay Kumar told Mid-Day that five youths, who were involved in stone pelting incidents on Sinhagad road, were detained. He also said that cops have been deployed to prevent any trouble.

"The violence is being perpetuated by people who are forwarding the objectionable posts about Dr Ambedkar on Whatsapp, even after police blocked the posts on Facebook. We have deployed heavy bandobast to avoid any untoward incident and the situation is totally under control," Kumar told Mid-Day.

The cops have also registered a case against unidentified persons, who posted the morphed pictures on social networking sites. They have asked facebook to share the details of the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server from where the pictures were initially posted.

Sunday's incident took place just days after violent protests raged in Pune over derogatory pictures of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray that were posted on Facebook. A Muslim IT professional, who was living in Hadapsar area, was allegedly beaten to death last Monday following protests over the controversial facebook posts.

Cops have arrested 19 members of the right wing group Hindu Rashtra Sena including its chief Dhananjay Desai, who has several criminal cases against him, in connection with the case.