Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar on Tuesday paid tribute at the ‘Jay Stambh’ near Perne village in Maharashtra’s Pune district on the occasion of the 201st anniversary of the Koregaon-Bhima war. Last year, caste clashes had broken out around Koregaon Bhima village during the celebrations, killing one.
As a precautionary measure, Internet services are shut in Koregaon Bhima today. Meanwhile, traffic on Pune-Ahmednagar Highway has also been diverted.
This year, police personnel – both from Pune and the state reserve force – have been deployed along the nine-kilometre stretch on both sides of the victory pillar. Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has refused to pass any orders to the Pune Police to permit the Bhim Army to conduct public meetings in the city.
On Monday, approximately, 18,000-20,000 people from various parts of Maharashtra paid the tribute at the victory pillar. Villagers welcomed visitors with roses and water bottles, and also made arrangements for food.
Dalit leader and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had yesterday reiterated that he would visit the Vijay Stambh even if the government uses force to stop him. The Mumbai police had on Friday detained Azad, seven other leaders and nearly 350 activists from Kandivali, Dadar, Malad, Ghatkopar, Worli and other areas.
January 1 is the anniversary of the historic Third Anglo-Maratha war, in which the 834-strong British force, comprising mostly of soldiers from the Dalit Mahar community, defeated the 28,000-strong Army of Peshwa Bajirao II.
Later, the British erected a victory obelisk, which is regarded by the Dalit castes as their symbolic victory over the higher castes.
Source – TImesNowNews