Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has met the acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and made a formal request to name a sitting high court judge to head the probe into the caste violence in Pune district, official sources said today.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has met the acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and made a formal request to name a sitting high court judge to head the probe into the caste violence in Pune district, official sources said today. Fadnavis met Acting Chief Justice Vijaya Tahilramani here and requested her on behalf of the state government to appoint a high court judge to lead the inquiry into the January 1 violence near the war memorial at Bhima-Koregaon in Pune district, they said. The Fadnavis-led government had earlier announced a judicial probe into the violent clashes and vandalism that resulted in the death of a local resident and destruction of property. Violence erupted when Dalit groups were celebrating victory of East India Company forces over the Peshwa’s army in the battle of Bhima-Koregaon in 1818, as the British forces included Dalit Mahar soldiers. Some pro-Hindutva outfits had opposed the celebration this time. Dalits commemorate the British victory as it is believed soldiers from the Mahar community were part of the East India Company’s forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins, and the victory is seen as a symbol of assertiveness by Dalits.
The New Year clashes at Bhima-Koregaon, blamed on the right-wing groups, had triggered violent protests by Dalits in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. A clutch of Dalits outfits, led by the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) of Prakash Ambedkar, had enforced a state-wide bandh on January 3 during which normal life was crippled in Mumbai and other parts of the state. The bandh also saw attacks on police personnel and damage to public and private property by protesters.