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Rahul targets RSS/BJP on caste violence in Maharashtra

DH News Service, New Delhi, Jan 3 2018, 1:33 IST
As caste violence broke out in Maharashtra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the RSS-BJP of triggering unrest among communities, while the BJP saw in it a conspiracy to destabilise the government. PTI file photo

As caste violence broke out in Maharashtra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the RSS-BJP of triggering unrest among communities, while the BJP saw in it a conspiracy to destabilise the government. PTI file photo

As caste violence broke out in Maharashtra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the RSS-BJP of triggering unrest among communities, while the BJP saw in it a conspiracy to destabilise the government.

Shiv Sena, an alliance partner in the Maharashtra government, also saw the caste violence as a conspiracy to break Maharashtra and wanted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ponder over why such incidents were on the rise.

"A central pillar of the RSS/BJP's fascist vision for India is that Dalits should remain at the bottom of Indian society. Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance," Rahul tweeted, even as the Congress geared up to raise the issue in Parliament on Wednesday.

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said the caste violence was a conspiracy to destabilise the Fadnavis government.

BSP supremo Mayawati said the violence could have been avoided had the Maharashtra government taken proper steps to ensure law and order at Bhima Koregaon, where an event, to mark 200 years of the battle in which the Peshwas were defeated by the Mahar regiment of the British East India Company, was organised.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, who also heads the Republican Party of India (A), said he had spoken to the Maharashtra chief minister and demanded that the culprits be brought to book.

"The incident should be inquired into to find out who attacked the Dalit community," Athawale said.

"The government needs to ponder over why these incidents have increased. Since the time this government came into existence, these things have been happening," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters.

The Battle of Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.

The Marathas ultimately withdrew, fearing the arrival of a larger British force led by General Joseph Smith.

The company troops of Indian-origin included Mahar Dalit soldiers belonging to the Bombay Native Infantry, and therefore Dalit activists regard the battle as a heroic episode in Dalit history.

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