Home States Maharashtra Celebration of 1818 battle of Bhima-Koregaon leads Maratha-Dalit clashes in Mumbai

Celebration of 1818 battle of Bhima-Koregaon leads Maratha-Dalit clashes in Mumbai

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(G.N.S) Dt. 02
Mumbai
– NCP’s Majeed Memon slams BJP-Shiv Sena govt for not coordinating
– MSRTC II buses from Pune to Mumbai have been cancelled for the day
– National leader of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh Prakash Ambedkar has called for a Maharashtra shutdown on Thursday
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.
A Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) official at Breman Chowk bus stop in Pune has confirmed that MSRTC II buses from Pune to Mumbai have been cancelled for the day. Apart from the medical shops, every other shop has been made to shut in Amrut Nagar area of Ghatkopar West. SM Shetty school in Hiranandani, Powai, has informed the parents to pick up their kids from the school. NCP leader Majeed Memon hit out at Maharashtra government over the violence in parts of Mumbai and Pune. Speaking to a TV News Channel, He said: “The present govt is literally no government, There is no coordination between Shiv Sena and BJP. Judicial enquiry (ordered by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis) is only for self-satisfaction. You have to come down on the streets and see that the violence is stopped forthwith.”
Following the incident at Bhima Koregaon in Pune, national leader of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh Prakash Ambedkar has called for a Maharashtra shutdown on Thursday. However, it is to be seen if the call would have any real impact on the ground as the political entity doesn’t command enough hold in state politics.
State government buses aren’t plying on schedule from Pune to Mumbai. Speculation is that disturbances on the expressway near Mumbai is the reason. Pune-Mumbai Shivneri buses are running behind schedule by over an hour currently.
Apart from the medical shops, every other shop has been made to shut in Amrut Nagar area of Ghatkopar West. SM Shetty school in Hiranandani, Powai, has informed the parents to pick up their kids from the school. NCP leader Majeed Memon hit out at Maharashtra government over the violence in parts of Mumbai and Pune. Speaking to CNN-News18, He said: “The present govt is literally no government, There is no coordination between Shiv Sena and BJP. Judicial enquiry (ordered by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis) is only for self-satisfaction. You have to come down on the streets and see that the violence is stopped forthwith.”
Following the incident at Bhima Koregaon in Pune, national leader of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh Prakash Ambedkar has called for a Maharashtra shutdown on Thursday. However, it is to be seen if the call would have any real impact on the ground as the political entity doesn’t command enough hold in state politics.
State government buses aren’t plying on schedule from Pune to Mumbai. Speculation is that disturbances on the expressway near Mumbai is the reason. Pune-Mumbai Shivneri buses are running behind schedule by over an hour currently.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has told reporters that he will order a CID probe. Meanwhile, Union minister Ramdas Athawale has told Times Now that he has appealed to Dalits and his supporters to maintain calm.
The event to mark 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district, in which forces of the East India Company defeated Peshwa’s army, was marred by incidents of violence, with at least one person getting killed.
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. However, some right-wing groups in Pune had expressed opposition to celebration of the `British’ victory.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis made an appeal for calm in the state and said that it was the police that bought the situation under control. “Some vehicles were burnt but police controlled the situation. All the people present at the event were escorted by the police and safely taken to their respective homes. One person was killed and we have launched a probe. If policemen weren’t there in sufficient numbers, the situation could be much worse,” he said.
A day after Dalit and Maratha groups clashed in Pune on the 200th anniversary celebrations of the historic Koregaon Bhima battle, Dalit protesters staged a protest in parts of suburban Mumbai, a report in Mumbai Mirror said.
The Indian Expressreported that Dalit groups, seeking action against those involved in Monday’s clashes which killed one and injured several others, called a rasta roko aandolan which affected many parts of Mumbai including Mulund, Chembur, Bhandup, Vikhroli and Kurla.
Monday marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon, where the Marathas led by Peshwa Bajirao II clashed with the British East India company. The battle, which took place in Koregaon, a small village 25 kilometres from Pune, pitted 800 British soldiers against 30,000 Marathas on 1 January, 1818. However, fearing that the British may send reinforcements in the form of a larger battalion, the Marathas withdrew after a 12-hour standoff. In all, about 1,000 people died in the battle.
However, the reason this particular skirmish between the British and the Marathas is remembered even today is because the local Mahar community fought alongside the British against the Marathas. Even today, as mentioned in a report in Scroll, many Dalit communities see the battle as being the first step in their struggle against caste-based oppression.

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