Bhima-Koregaon violence had a Delhi connection, too?

The violence had led to the death of one person and several others, including 10 policemen, were injured; Jignesh Mevani of Gujarat and Umar Khalid of JNU had allegedly provoked a mob to indulge in the violence


New Delhi: The Pune Police today arrested a man here with the assistance of the Delhi Police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence in Pune, the police said. The man was arrested from his Munirka flat here this morning, a Delhi Police officer said. [Coverage of the incidents by Sirf News]

The Delhi Police helped the Pune Police in making the arrest. The man is suspected to have a Naxal connection, he added.

On 1 January, violence had erupted at an event meant to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in which British forces defeated the Peshwa army on 1 January 1818.

The Maharashtra Bandh, called to protest the violence post an event to mark the 200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon battle, had turned violent even as rail and road traffic was disrupted in the city.

Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader and Dalit icon BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar had called for Maharashtra bandh to protest the State government’s “failure” to stop the violence at Bhima-Koregaon village in Pune district on 1 January.

The violence led to the death of one person and several others, including 10 policemen, were injured.

Pune Police had in January arrested 29 people, including three minors, in connection with the 1 January caste clashes that broke out in and around Koregaon Bhima village in which one person was killed.

The violence occurred during the bicentennial event to commemorate the Koregaon-Bhima battle in which British imperial forces comprising Dalits had defeated the army of Peshwas.

Residents of the village, the epicentre of caste violence in Maharashtra, had blamed “outsiders” for the 1 January incidents and claimed there was inadequate security for the mega-gathering that had preceded the unrest.

The police had received a complaint against Gujarat MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani and Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid for their “provocative” speeches at an event here on 31 December.

Mevani and Khalid had attended the “Elgar Parishad”, an event organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, at Shaniwar Wada in the city on 31 December.

According to the complainants, Akshay Bikkad and Anand Dhond, Mevani and Khalid had made “provocative” comments at the event.