Pune: Pune police have arrested five Dalits in connection with the sectarian violence that broke out in December last year during the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon.Joint Police commissioner, Ravindra Kadam on Wednesday told UNI that Rona Wilson was picked up in Delhi, Sudhir Dhawale in Mumbai and Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Surendra Gadling from Nagpur.
They have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. A meeting was organised by Dalit activists and intellectuals on December 31 near Shaniwarwada in Pune which was the seat of power for the Peshwas who were the military and administrative heads of the Maratha empire.
Bhima-Koregaon, on the outskirts of Pune, holds a significant symbolic position in Dalit folklore. Some Dalit historians and activists believe the battle of Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 1818, in which the British emerged triumphant, accelerated the fall of the Peshwas.
Thousands of Dalits had gathered in Bhima-Koregaon on December 31- January 1 to commemorate the 'valour and victory' of the Mahar regiment over the Peshwas on the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon.
Arson and stone pelting were reported from Bhima-Koregaon and adjoining villages in which
one person died and several were injured. The violence triggered a Dalit backlash and Maharashtra bandh on 3 January which saw arson and stone pelting. (UNI)