On the first day of the new year, Maharashtra witnessed a deadly riot among the Dalit and local groups. As per the reports, a group of people belonging to the Dalit community was moving towards the Koregaon Bhima battle memorial in Shiroor tehsil when they were stopped mid-way by a local group resulting in the outrage. In the event of the 200th anniversary of the Koregaon Bhima battle which was fought between the East India Company and the Marathi forces in 1818. The Company won the war and a memorial of the battle was built. Till date, the Dalit community celebrates the anniversary of the battle as in British troops members of the Dalit community fought too.
Reports have it that some local groups in Pune had expressed opposition to the celebration of the “British victory”. The peaceful celebration was agitated and due to the clash between the two groups riot took place. There were reported events of stone pelting, burning down of buildings and vehicles in the process. The things happened so quickly that by the time the police reached, a lot of damage was already done. Death of one member of the Dalit community was reported.
The riot of the first day agitated the Dalit community even more and because of it many other cities including Pune and Mumbai were on the edge due to the angry protests by the community. Following the protests, the community has called for a ‘Bandh’ on Wednesday. The Mumbai shutdown has had great impacts the shops in parts of Mumbai were forced shut. An approximate of 160 buses were damaged in the riot and even trains were brought to halt. Police forces have been deployed in parts of the city to restore peace.
Chief Minister Fadnavis appealed for calm and warned against the spreading of rumors on social media. He also ordered an inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into Monday’s violence. Proper steps are being taken by the government to maintain normalcy in the city. The Politicians have started pointing fingers at each other for taking the responsibility of the problem. Apparently, we are heading towards a peaceful India now.