Mumbai, Dec. 1 (PTI): Mumbai Police have requested the Maharashtra government to declare December 6 as a "local public holiday" to avoid law and order problems as lakhs of people are expected to converge at Chaitya Bhoomi here on the occasion of B R Ambedkar's 50th death anniversary.
"We have to make special arrangements each year for the day as scores of people come to the city. This year their number is expected to increase manifold. We have, therefore, requested the government to declare it as a local public holiday," Police Commissioner, A N Roy, told reporters here.
Lakhs of people from across the country converge at Chaitya Bhoomi, the site in Central Mumbai where the Dalit icon's last rites were performed, to pay homage to him.
Ambedkar's birthday on April 14 is already a public holiday.
Major roads connecting the island city with the suburbs will have to be closed in view of the large crowds and it will be better if a holiday is given so that there is sparse movement on roads, Roy said.
The suggestion was reportedly first made in a report prepared by a Committee of Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) and JCP (Law and Order).
The police also suspect law and order trouble in view of the killing of four Dalits in Bhandara's Khairlanji village, and violent protests in the State over the desecration of an Ambedkar statue in Kanpur.
December 6 is also the anniversay of the demolition of Babri Masjid and the police force is put on a high alert across the State on that day every year.