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Perne police chowki, which will cover Jaystambh, Sambhaji Maharaj samadhi among other ‘sensitive places’, inaugurated

🔴 The chowki is under the Lonikand police station of Pune city police and will cover about eight villages, a press release issued on Friday said.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: January 29, 2022 7:44:50 am
Pune cop instagram interactive session, Pune police covid awareness, Pune news, Indian express, Indian express newsPune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta. (File)

COMMISSIONER OF Pune city police Amitabh Gupta inaugurated the Perne police chowki that will cover in its jurisdiction sensitive places like the ‘Jaystambh’ in Perne village and the samadhi of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in Vadhu Budruk village. The chowki is under the Lonikand police station of Pune city police and will cover about eight villages, a press release issued on Friday said.

The ‘Jaystambh’ was erected by the British government in 1821 in memory of its soldiers, who fought against the Peshwas at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818.

According to a Dalit narrative, a British Army comprising 500 soldiers from the Dalit Mahar community defeated a 28,000-strong force of Peshwas (who were Brahmins) in the battle. Lakhs, mainly from the Ambedkarite Mahar community, visit the Jaystambh on January 1 every year to pay tribute to the soldiers, who fought a war for freedom against the alleged casteism of the Peshwas.

Meanwhile, the historic samadhi of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj located at Vadhu Budruk village also has a disputed tomb-like structure. This, according to the Dalit Mahar community, is the samadhi of Govind Gopal Dhegoji Meghoji, a 17th-century Dalit figure.

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There is also a dispute between the Maratha and Dalit Mahar communities in the village over who conducted the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj. The Marathas believe it was their ancestors — Shivale Deshmukhs — who defied the orders of Aurangzeb and performed the last rites of Sambhaji. While the Dalit narrative claims it was Govind Gopal, who performed the last rites of the king. The Gaikwad family from the village claim to be successors of Govind Gopal.

A board with the ‘disputed history’ of Govind Gopal, allegedly erected by the Gaikwad family in Vadhu Budruk on the night of December 28, 2017, was allegedly removed by members of the Maratha community. This led to an altercation, which was believed to be among the reasons that led to the violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018.

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