Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Indian National Movement Mains Syllabus : GS1: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Context:

  • The Maharashtra Government is likely to withdraw the cases filed in the aftermath of violence on the 201st anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle being observed on January 1, 2019.

Details:

  • The government is keen to send a message of peace to prevent a repeat of the violence that took place last year during the 200th anniversary celebrations, sources in the government confirmed.

About Battle of Koregaon:

  • The Battle of Koregaon was fought on 1 January 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.
  • The 28,000-strong Marathas, led by Peshwa Baji Rao II intended to attack Pune. On their way, they were met by an 800-strong Company force that was on its way to reinforce the British troops in Pune.
  • The Peshwa dispatched around 2,000 soldiers to attack the Company force stationed in Koregaon.
  • Led by Captain Francis Staunton, the Company troops defended their position for nearly 12 hours.
  • The Marathas ultimately withdrew, fearing the arrival of a larger British force led by General Joseph Smith.
  • The Company troops of Indian origin included predominantly Mahar Dalit soldiers belonging to the Bombay Native Infantry, and therefore Dalit activists regard the battle as a heroic episode in Dalit history.
  • The Koregaon pillar inscription features the names of the 49 Company soldiers killed in the battle.
  • It was built by the British as a symbol of their own power, today it serves as a memorial of the Mahars.
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