Maharashtra witnessed a statewide ‘Bandh’ after tension erupted between the Dalits and Marathas. The bandh was declared on Tuesday evening that continued till yesterday.
Dalits were commemorating the anniversary of Bhima Koregaon battle when they were attacked. The Battle of Koregaon took place on January 1, 1818, between the army of Baji Rao II of the Peshwas and a small East India Company force that included a few hundred Mahar (Dalits of Maharashtra) soldiers.
Around three lakh Dalits had gathered in villages around Bhima Koregaon near Pune to attend an event on Monday. Where they had clashed with Maratha group members, causing death of a 30-year-old youth and injuring several others.
“Why can’t Dalits peacefully commemorate the anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle? The attackers have resorted to such methods because they are scared of Dalit assertion,” MLA and Dalit leader, Jignesh Mevani had said who was in Mumbai a day after the attack.
He had alleged that the attacks on Dalits were carried out by supporters of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Dalits on Tuesday demonstrated a protest in Pune, Mumbai and other nine districts wanting an action against Marathas. The cities came to a halt after there were incidents of stone pelting and destruction of public property. However, life has returned to normalcy today.
History of Bhima Koregaon battle: