Pune: As the anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon incident approaches, the administration is also gearing up for the same. Pune District Magistrate Naval Kishore Ram told ANI on Wednesday, “We appeal to people to not fall for false messages on social media. This year, 10-15 times more security will be at place. There is an active plan and we have also done preventive detentions.”
The event last year, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle of January 1, 1818, in Pune district, in which the British Army comprising Dalits had defeated upper-caste Peshwas, was marred by incidents of stone-pelting and vandalism.
The incident occurred in Bhima Koregaon in afternoon when people were heading towards a war memorial in the village, police said. The violence erupted after a group and some members of the crowd on its way to visit the memorial had an argument over some issue.
“Stone-pelting started after the argument. During the violence, vehicles and a house in the vicinity was damaged,” a police officer deployed at Bhima Koregaon said. He said the police blocked the vehicular traffic on Pune-Ahmbednagar highway for sometime following the incident.
Following the clashes between Dalit and Maratha communities, local train service on Harbour Line were also disrupted. Protesters attempted ‘Raasta Roko’ in several parts of Mumbai after which traffic was affected on Eastern expressway and at Chembur Naka.
On January 1, a person was beaten to death, dozens of vehicles torched and damaged in stone pelting as clashes broke out between people of Dalit and Maratha communities. Villagers from Koregaon Bhima, Pabal and Shikrapur and a large group of people celebrating the January 1, 1818, victory of British troops over Peshwa Bajirao II’s army in Koregaon Bhima.
Protesters blocked traffic in Mulund, Chembur, Bhandup, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar and Nehru Nagar in Kurla. In Chembur and Mulund, protesters forced shop owners to close their shops. Local trains on Harbour Line was affected due to ‘Rail Roko’ near Govandi-Chembur.