Security doubled for Koregaon-Bhima anniversary

Updated: Dec 13, 2019, 07:43 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Mumbai

Dalits observe the Koregaon-Bhima battle anniversary on January 1 as Valour Day. They gather in large numbers to pay tributes at the Vijay stambha raised by the British for the soldiers killed in the battle

The mob at the victory pillar
The mob at the victory pillar

Two years after the Koregaon-Bhima clashes, the Pune district administration has geared up to ensure that the 202nd Valour Day passes peacefully. They intend to deploy double the number of security personnel than last year. The police had kept a tight vigil with a force of more than 10,000, two teams of the State Reserve Police and 200 officers from 16 agencies last year.

Dalits observe the Koregaon-Bhima battle anniversary on January 1 as Valour Day. They gather in large numbers to pay tributes at the Vijay stambha raised by the British for the soldiers killed in the battle.

On January 1 in 2018, violence erupted at the event, leaving one dead and several injured, including 10 policemen. Police alleged that Elgaar Parishad, which was organised at Pune's Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017, had aggravated the violence.

Republican Party of India's (A) Dr Siddharth Dende said, "Last year the bus facilities and parking were too far and people had to walk some 10 km to reach the memorial. People come from all across India. But people from Mumbai, Konkan, Thane were unable to come due to a road blocked at Chakan for security. The administration failed to handle the traffic and mob."

Speaking about the arrangements for this year, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said, "We learnt there is no electricity and so we are placing street lights worth R70 lakh at the memorial. We are holding meetings with the police, locals, administration etc to ensure the anniversary passes peacefully. We will also deploy double the number of security personnel than last year."

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