Pune police, admin beef up Koregaon Bhima's security

Last Updated 24 December 2019, 11:14 IST

The Pune district police and administration has beefed up security arrangements at Koregaon Bhima in Shirur tehsil along the Pune-Ahmednagar road.

On 1 January 2018, there was caste violence in Koregaon Bhima, in which one person has died. 1 January marks the anniversary of the Anglo-Maratha war. In this war, the Mahar caste soldiers of Bombay Native Infantry of East India Company defeated the Peshwas.

Every year thousands of Dalits gather at the Jay Stambha (victory pillar near Perne Phata) to commemorate the victory of British forces over the Peshwa army in 1818. 1 January, 2018, was the 200th anniversary of the Anglo-Maratha war and lakhs of people attended it.

The government had found that the 31 December 2017 Elgar Parishad meeting at Shaniwarwada in Pune triggered off the violence and had blamed the CPI (Maoists) for fomenting casteist trouble across India.

Ahead of the 202nd anniversary, the Pune police has issued notices to over 160 people including Right-wing leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide. The duo would not be allowed in Koregaon Bhima on that day.

The Bhim Army too had made plans to undertake a rally but now its leader Chandrashekar Azad is booked vis-a-vis CAA-NRC protests.

Meanwhile, NCP President Sharad Pawar has asked the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to set up a Special Investigation Team to look into the action of Pune police that has booked and arrested civil right defenders and human rights activists. According to Pawar, a serving or retired police officer or a sitting or ex-judge could head the probe.

Meanwhile, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram and Pune Rural Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil has assured that no one would be allowed to take law and order in their hands.

"We will not allow any placards, banners or sloganeering on the issue of CAA-NRC. People can come to Koregaon Bhima, pay their tributes to the 'Jay Stambh' and return peacefully. We do not want them to bring in any other theme into their visit," Ram told reporters.

"So far, we have issued notices to 163 people, including Bhide and Ekbote, and barred them from entering the district," Patil said.

(Published 24 December 2019, 11:14 IST)

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