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Bhima-Koregaon violence: Body of 19-year-old witness found in well near rehabilitation camp

The body of 19-year-old woman, who was a witness in the 1 January Bhima-Koregaon caste clashes, was found in a well near a rehabilitation site for the riot victims on Sunday, media reports said.

The family of Pooja Sakat, a class XI student, had earlier lodged an FIR with the police that some local villagers were issuing threats and harassing them as she was witness to the violence, according to The Times of India. Sakat had approached different government offices over the last few months to get her family a new home, the report said.

 Bhima-Koregaon violence: Body of 19-year-old witness found in well near rehabilitation camp

File image of the Bhima-Koregaon violence. PTI

"We informed the Shikrapur Police after Pooja went missing on Saturday afternoon. The well where her body was found is about two kilometres from Koregaon Bhima. We suspect that she may have been compelled by local villagers to end her life or she may have been pushed into the well," the report quoted her brother as saying.

"We will investigate the matter from all possible angles. We will verify the allegations levelled by Pooja’s family members. But we will first try to establish what actually caused her death," the police said.

On 1 January, an event to mark 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district was marred by incidents of violence, with at least one person getting killed and vehicles torched. The violence had spread to several areas including Mumbai, Aurangabad and Pune.

The violence was followed by call several statewide bandhs, that had also elicited support from political parties such as Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bahujan Samaj Party, who expressed anger over the government "failure" to control the Pune incident.

As the Opposition blamed the government for inaction, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence that erupted. "A sitting high court judge will head the inquiry," Fadnavis had said,  adding that Rs 10 lakh compensation would be given to kin of the youth killed.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2018 09:00:17 IST

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