INTERNET services in Koregaon Bhima and nearby villages in Pune district were shut Wednesday as a precautionary measure as people arrived to pay their respects at the Jaystambh, the war memorial in Perne village in Pune district, to mark the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.
Internet services in the area were shut since morning, Pune District Police Superintendent Sandeep Patil confirmed. Police and administration are expected to take a call in the event on restoring the services. According to officials, the total number of people who had visited the area since Monday evening, was estimated to be between three to four lakh. Last year, an estimated 10 lakh people visited the Jaystambh.
On Wednesday morning, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar were among those who visited Jaystambh to pay respects. A police and reserved force deployment of around 10,000 personnel has been put in place for the peaceful conduct of the event.
Two years ago, on the 200th anniversary of the battle, violence had broken out in the area. Clashes between different communities had left one person dead and several others including policemen injured. Multiple cases have been filed over the violence and the then state government, headed by Devendra Fadnavis, had set up a probe commission to ascertain the sequence of events that led to it.
Police have already issued preventive notices barring several people from entering the area. A dedicated team of policemen has been keeping close watch on the activities on internet, social media and phone messenger platforms.
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