INDIA: To commemorate the 205th anniversary of the Bhima–Koregaon battle on Sunday, thousands of followers have begun to converge at the Jaystambh in Pune’s Perne village amidst a significant police presence.
Over five lakh people are expected to attend this year, the district administration said.
Approximately 5,000 police personnel have been stationed at the Jaystambh, which is close to the villages of Koregaon Bhima and Vadhu Budruk on the Pune-Ahmednagar highway.
Traffic has been diverted away from the Pune-Ahmednagar highway since 5 p.m. on Saturday, with the exception of vehicles carrying passengers to the Jaystambh. These detours will persist until after midnight.
Violence broke out in the Koregaon Bhima neighbourhood on January 1, 2018, leaving one person dead and numerous others hurt. Since then, the district’s law enforcement apparatus and administration have implemented strong measures to guard against any law and order issues in the region.
The police have urged people not to publish anything that is divisive or incendiary on social media or messaging apps.
The police said that they are closely monitoring the social media posts associated with the subject, and they have started a procedure to erase dozens of social media posts over the past few days after identifying them as having the potential to disrupt law and order.
The district administration reports that 1,500 portable toilets have been set up nearby. About 41 ambulances, 20 emergency response teams, additional bike ambulances, and many garbage collection vehicles have been stationed around Jaystambh.
Over 300 buses from the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal have been placed into action to take pilgrims to Perne.
Dr. Rajesh Deshmukh, the district collector for Pune, organised numerous gatherings for administrative and police officials to coordinate efforts, during which the Jaystambh’s facilities were reviewed.
Traffic heading from Pune to Ahmednagar has been rerouted directly from Kharadi and will now travel along Mundhwa Chowk, Magarpatta Chowk, Kedgaon Chaufula, Nhavara, and Shirur in the direction of Ahmednagar.
From Solapur Road to Alandi and Chakan, traffic has been redirected via Hadapsar, Magarpatta Chowk, Kharadi Bypass, and Vishrantwadi.
Heavy vehicles travelling from Mumbai to Ahmednagar have been detoured via Vadgaon Maval, Chakan, Khed, Manchar, Narayangaon, and Alephata.
Light vehicles travelling from Mumbai to Ahmednagar have been detoured via Vadgaon Maval, Chakan, Khed, Pabal, and Shirur.
Vehicles travelling from Kolhapur, Sangli, and Satara and heading to Ahmednagar through Katraj and Mantarwadi Phata have been detoured from the Hadapsar to Solapur highway and will now take the Kedgaon Chaufula, Nhavara, and Shirur routes.
As per the traffic police, separate parking spaces have been made for the automobiles of the Jaystambh Visitor.
About the Bhima-Koregaon battle
The battle of Koregaon Bhima was fought between the Maratha Confederacy’s Peshwa faction and the British East India Company on January 1, 1818.
The battle, which was a part of the Third Anglo-Maratha War, saw a string of battles that culminated in the end of the Peshwa dynasty’s dominion and the subsequent establishment of the British East India Company in almost all of Western, Central, and Southern India. In Koregaon, an “obelisk of victory” (victory pillar) stands as a reminder of the conflict.
The “Jay Stambh” was erected in 1821 by the British government as a memorial to honour its soldiers who fought the Peshwas in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818, according to historical documents.
Later, on December 13, 1824, the British appointed Kandojibin Gajoji Jamadar (Malvadkar), a wounded soldier from the Battle of Koregaon Bhima, as the leader of the Jaystambh.
The history of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon “should not be distorted and used for making any casteist remarks,” contend the descendants of Jamadar, who belongs to the Maratha community, as according to them both the British and Peshwa forces were composed of soldiers from various religions and castes (both upper and lower).