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Bhima-Koregaon violence a 'well-planned conspiracy by anti-national forces', says Prasar Bharti advisor Gyanendra Bartaria

New Delhi: At a seminar at Delhi University on Thursday, the speakers said that the violence at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune was a "conspiracy by anti-national forces".

Dalit protesters burn a bike at Vikroli in Mumbai during a protest over Bhima Koregaon violence. PTI

Violence was reported from many parts of Mumbai and Pune on 1 January. PTI

Speaking at the seminar, Prasar Bharti advisor Gyanendra Bartaria said, "It was a well-planned conspiracy by anti-national forces who want to divide the nation."

Violence erupted in Pune on 1 January, when Dalit groups were marking the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in which the British defeated the Peshwas of Maharashtra.

Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community were part of the East India Company's forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins, and the victory is seen as a symbol of Dalit assertiveness.

Speaking at the seminar, Delhi University professor Bidyut Chakrabarty said that the Bhima-Koregaon battle involved the East India Company and the Peshwas, that was given a casteist twist. "The Ambedkarites unfortunately said that it was a battle between Mahars and Marathas," he said.

The seminar, titled 'Reality of Bhima-Koregaon', was organised by the Centre for Social Development, a forum of Delhi University teachers and researchers.

Updated Date: Jan 19, 2018 08:52 AM

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