Bhima Koregaon: Decks Clear For Government Resolution on Withdrawal of Cases

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


  • 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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