Other States

Clash mars bicentenary of Bhima-Koregaon battle

Under control: Police personnel at the site of the clash in Bhima-Koregaon on Monday.

Under control: Police personnel at the site of the clash in Bhima-Koregaon on Monday.  

Arguments over hoardings snowball into pelting of stones; over 10 vehicles torched

The bicentenary celebrations of the 1818 battle of Bhima-Koregaon were marred by a clash between two groups on Monday. The incident occurred at 11.30 a.m. when people were heading towards Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) in the village.

The police said altercations over some hoardings resulted in pelting of stones and torching of over 10 vehicles. “The situation was immediately brought under control. Measures have been taken to prevent the spread of rumours on social media, and a number of villages like Sanawadi, Vadhu-Budruk and Shikrapur along the highway have been sealed,” said a police officer.

The police blocked the traffic on the Pune-Ahmbednagar highway for sometime after the incident and it was resumed in the evening. “More police personnel, including companies of the SRPF, have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident,” the officer said.

Some members of Bhima-Koregaon Shauryadin Prerana Abhiyan, a committee that conducted an Elgaar Parishad on Sunday, in which Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and Radhika Vemula participated, alleged that the clash was provoked by right wing outfits.

“The successful conclusion of Elgaar Parishad at Shaniwar Wada Fort irked several Hindutva outfits. We have strong reasons to believe that almost 3,000 right wing activists were behind the clash to disrupt the Koregaon-Bhima celebrations,” alleged Santosh Shinde of Sambhaji Brigade, one of the members.

Lakhs from the Dalit community visited Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) in the village on Monday. The memorial is dedicated to the battle of January 1, 1818, where 500 soldiers of the untouchable Mahar community fought alongside the English to defeat the 28,000-strong army of Peshwa Bajirao II, thus ending the Peshwai domination.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 3:05:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/clash-mars-bicentenary-of-bhima-koregaon-battle/article22347984.ece

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