New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Several private schools and daycare facilities in southeast Delhi are closed today following the violent protests on Wednesday against the demolition of Ravidas temple in the area.

“Parents, pre-school and daycare is closed due to riots in the areas nearby. We have to keep the centre closed due to safety and security of children and staff. Inconvenience is regretted,” a message sent to the parents by a daycare facility was quoted by Times of India as saying.

On Wednesday night, a heavy police force was deployed in the Tughlaqabad area after police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters and detained Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and 50 others.

However, police have denied any reports of injury to the protesters.

"At around 7.30 pm, the mob that gathered at Ravi Das Marg turned unruly and became violent despite persuasion and appeal by police to maintain peace and started pelting stones and attacking policemen," DCP (southeast) Chinmoy Biswal said.

According to the police, violent protesters damaged a few vehicles and two motorcycles were set ablaze.

The Ravidas temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) earlier this month on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Earlier in the day, thousands of protesters, who trooped into Delhi from various parts of the country in buses and trains, marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan to Ramlila Maidan in central Delhi, protesting against the demolition of the temple in the Tughlakabad forest area.

The protest was attended by Delhi's Social Justice Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and spiritual leaders from the community.

At the planned protest at the Ramlila Maidan, Azad announced that they would install a bust of Sant Ravidas at the demolished temple and began a march to the site along with his supporters.

The protest brought the movement of traffic in several parts of Delhi to a standstill, as police personnel struggled to bring the situation under control.

The Delhi Traffic Police issued several advisories, urging commuters to avoid stretches which witnessed heavy snarls.

The issue has taken a political hue with various parties demanding that the temple be reconstructed either at the same spot in Tughlakabad forest area or at an alternative location.

After the demolition of the temple, BSP supremo Mayawati had alleged that the incident reflected a "casteist mentality".

Following Maywati's allegation, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government had nothing to do with the demolition of the temple. Union Housing and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had also said that the Centre was determined to find a solution and possibly identify an alternative site to "relocate" the temple.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta