Slogan ban at Bhima event
Pune district officials have banned “placards, banners and sloganeering” relating to the new citizenship law and the NRC at the January 1 anniversary celebrations of a 1818 battle at Koregaon Bhima, which had witnessed caste clashes at last year’s event.
District collector Naval Kishore Ram said on Monday night that people could come to Koregaon Bhima and pay tributes at the memorial to the war, in which a largely Dalit colonial army had defeated the Brahmin Peshwa rulers.
“We do not want them to bring any other theme to the visit,” he told reporters.
Another official said that organisations seeking permission to hold meetings at the venue had been told to ensure that no “inciting” speeches were made.
One person was killed and several were injured in the violence of January 1, 2018, which led to the arrest of around 10 prominent social activists on the ground of alleged links with Maoists who were purportedly plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister.
Pune police have barred 163 people, including Right-wing leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, from entering the district for four days ahead of the anniversary.
Ekbote was arrested in March 2018 for allegedly instigating the violence, and Bhide was booked but never arrested.