Lakhs of people visited ‘Chaityabhoomi’ in Dadar on the occasion of the death anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Thursday.
A sea of humanity poured into Shivaji Park, where Dr. Ambedkar’s last rites were performed in 1956. Flowers were strewn from helicopters.
The event had given sleepless nights to the State administration officials owing to the makeshift memorial of deceased Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, recently cremated a stone’s throw away from Chaityabhoomi.
Authorities had been worried about a possible conflagration between ‘Bhim Sainiks’ (Dalit cadre) and Shiv Sainiks in case things took a turn for the worse.
Apart from the Mumbai Police personnel, many companies of the State Reserve Police Force and Riot Control Police were seen patrolling the area.
Police said that at least eight lakh people visited Shivaji Park to pay homage. “Everything is peaceful and under control. Heavy police bandobast will be maintained in the area at least till Friday morning,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V).
Police said there were no reports of any untoward incident in the area.
According to authorities, an important factor in considerably easing the tension was the announcement of a state-of-the-art memorial to Dr. Ambedkar on Thursday.
Meanwhile, all major State leaders including Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Home Minister R.R. Patil, Ajit Pawar, Republican Party of India (A) President Ramdas Athawale and BJP leader Vinod Tawde paid tributes to Dr. Ambedkar.