The RSS is for establishing peace in the country and not to spread violence, Union minister Satyapal Singh said on Wednesday, defending the organisation against allegations that it fuelled the caste violence in Maharashtra.
"RSS is a national organisation for establishing peace in the country and not to spread violence," Singh, the minister of state for human resource development, told reporters outside Parliament.
The Maharashtra bandh called by various Dalit and other organisations to protest the violence against commemoration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle was withdrawn this afternoon, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar announced on Wednesday.
Incidents road blockades, arson and stone-pelting were reported in Mumbai and elsewhere during the day.
Violence erupted in Pune district on Monday when Dalit groups were celebrating the bicentenary of the Bhima- Koregaon battle in which the forces of the British East India Company defeated the Peshwa's army.
Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory, as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community – then considered untouchable - were part of the East India Company's forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins, and the victory is seen as a symbol of assertiveness by Dalits.