Bhima Koregaon: Decks Clear For Government Resolution on Withdrawal of Cases
11, Dec 2018
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.
- 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.