wnol.info January 22 2018

Pune violence: Ambedkar's grandson Prakash demands inquiry by non-Dalit judge

January 22 2018, 12:36 | Irvin Gilbert

Bhimrao Ambedkar

Bhimrao Ambedkar Bhima Koregaon war monument Dalits British Army Dalit reservation casteism secularism

A complaint has been submitted against Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid in Pune for allegedly making provocative statements during an event to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.

Traffic came to a standstill this morning at the Eastern Express Highway in Mumbai, which re-opened post-noon.

The Director General of Police's (DGP) office had on Monday night sounded an alert about possible agitations by Dalit groups but the city police was caught off guard by the magnitude of the protests, senior Mumbai police officials said. In pockets of the financial capital, police in riot gear were deployed as incidents of stone-pelting were reported.

The police blocked the traffic on the Pune-Ahmbednagar highway for sometime following the incident. He was quoted as having said, "Request will be made to Supreme Court for judicial inquiry in Koregaon violence matter and CID inquiry will also be conducted on the death of the youth".

But what's the history behind "The Battle of Koregaon"? 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. On their way, they were met by an 800-strong Company force that was on its way to reinforce the British troops in Pune.

The 28,000-strong Marathas, led by Peshwa Baji Rao II meant to attack Pune. Led by Captain Francis Staunton, the Company troops defended their position for almost 12 hours.

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