Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, alias Ravan, will visit the Jaystambh in Pune district on January 1 next year to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.
Abjijit Gaikwad, chief of the Pune unit of Bhim Army, said, “It is confirmed that our party chief will visit the Jaystambh on January 1.”
Gaikwad said party members also planned to organise an ‘Abhivadan rally’, from the Dr B R Ambedkar statue near Pune railway station till Koregaon Bhima, under the leadership of Azad. The party will also organise a gathering of its workers, as well as meetings with well-wishers.
“We will share exact details about our January 1 programme soon. We will be following the directions of government officials in view of the Covid- 19 outbreak,” Gaikwad told The Indian Express.
Azad had visited the Jaystambh, a war memorial in Perne village, for the first time on January 1, 2019, a year after the area saw large-scale violence as clashes erupted between two groups. One person was killed, several injured and property worth crores destroyed in the violence.
As per a Dalit narrative, the British force that fought Peshwas at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818, comprised largely of soldiers from the Dalit Mahar community, who waged a “war for freedom” from the “casteism” of the Peshwas.
Every year, on January 1, Dalits from the Ambedkarite Mahar community visit the Jaystambh, a war memorial erected by the British in memory of soldiers who fought bravely against the Peshwas in the battle.
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