Dalit and Maratha clash: Sec 144 Implemented; one dead, 50 cars destroys in Pune

Dalit and Maratha clash: Sec 144 Implemented; one dead, 50 cars destroys in Pune
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MUMBAI: Section 144 had been imposed around the Koregaon Bhima park in Pune as a precautionary measure before the riots between Dalit and Maratha broke out.

“More police personnel, including companies of the State Reserve Police Force, have been deployed,” the officer said.

After the riot, 49 people were booked on the charges of violence and arson.

WHY VIOLENCE BROKE OUT OVER THE KOREGAON-BHIMA BATTLE ANNIVERSARY

The Koregaon Bhima battle (aka Bhima Koregaon battle) was fought between the British East India Company and the peshwa’s army at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818. In it, the British faction had defeated the peshwa.

Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community — then considered untouchable — were part of the East India Company’s forces.

Several lakhs of Dalits had congregated around the Victory Pillar (Vijay Stambh) erected by the British in Sanaswadi village when suddenly stone pelting started, allegedly by some right-wing groups carrying saffron flags.

In the clashes that ensued between the two groups, more than 30 vehicles, including buses, police vans and private vehicles, were torched or damaged.

The police fired tear gas to control the mobs and prohibitory orders were imposed in the entire Pune district.

The violence led to the death of Rahul Fatangale, 28, of Nanded.

Meanwhile, some Dalit groups staged demonstrations in Chembur and other pockets of Mumbai on Tuesday, resulting in massive traffic snarls, including on the Mumbai-Panvel highway.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced a probe by a Bombay High Court judge into the incident.

“Don’t believe in rumours. Traffic on Eastern expressway was affected due to protests. It’s moving now. Traffic at Chembur Naka is still affected. There is nothing to panic. Verify facts with police officers and men before posting anything on social media,” tweeted Mumbai Police official page.

[With inputs from PTI]