AMN / Lucknow
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday said violent incidents occurred at 200th anniversary celebration of Koregaon-Bhima battle was an attempt to suppress the self esteem of the Dalits.
In a statement released here, Ms Mayawati alleged that it was conspiracy to incite riots to take political mileage.
“This incident could have been prevented. The government should have made appropriate security arrangements. The BJP government there caused violence. It seems like the BJP, RSS and other casteist powers were involved,” Mayawati said.
On Monday, the event to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune took a violent turn, and led to clashes between the dalit and Maratha communities.
The Bhima Koregaon battle saw the forces of the East India Company defeat Peshwa Bajirao II’s army, on January 1, 1818. Some dalit leaders commemorate the British victory, as it is believed that soldiers from the then-untouchable Mahar community were part of the winning force. However, some right-wing groups in Pune had expressed opposition to the celebration.
Violence erupted in Pune after an argument between locals and those on their way to the war memorial. Ensuing clashes left atleast one died and three others injured.