Pune Collector Naval Kishor Ram on Thursday held a review meeting to discuss preparations for a programme at Jaystambh in Perne village, where a few lakh people are expected to gather on January 1, 2020, to mark the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.
Sandip Patil, Superintendent of Pune Rural Police and Resident Deputy Collector Jayshree Katare were among those present at the meeting. A press release issued on Thursday stated that the Collector has asked the government authorities concerned to provide all essential facilities to the people visiting Jaystambh, of whom a good number will be from Dalit-Ambedkarite groups.
Ram asked officials to ensure the provision of facilities such as drinking water, mobile toilets, ambulances and medical facilities, sufficient state transport and civic buses, fire tenders and fire-fighting equipment for the January 1 programme in Perne, Koregaon Bhima and adjoining areas.
Officials also discussed security arrangements including the installation of CCTV cameras at important locations. The Collector also directed the authorities to ensure that adulterated food products are not sold in the vicinity. He asked the heads of various departments to coordinate properly to ensure essential facilities are provided in time.
SP Patil said a large number of people are expected to come to Jaystambh on January 1, and that the police will take requisite measures to maintain law and order. He appealed against spreading false rumours around the occasion.
Officials of the state Home department, Revenue department, and local officials of Perne, Koregaon Bhima, Vadhu Budruk and other villages were also present at the meeting.
Violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018, had left one person dead and several injured. Following the incident, security arrangements were stepped up significantly for the programme on January 1, 2019.
In the Battle of Koregaon Bhima, the British force which fought the Peshwas on January 1, 1818, comprised largely of soldiers from the Dalit Mahar community, who waged a “war for freedom” against the casteism of the Peshwas.