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Sharad Pawar Hints at Right-Wing Involvement in Bhima Koregaon

Violence broke out during an event to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.

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A day after violence erupted in Maharashtra's Bhima Koregaon, leading to the death of one person, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar indicated the involvement of right-wing groups in the incident.

The violence broke out during an event to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, in which forces of the East India Company (that comprised a large number of Dalits) defeated Peshwa's army.

Locals in Vadhu village alleged that right-wing groups in Pune were making speeches against the event three or four days prior to the incident, Pawar claimed.

I have heard that some extremist, communal organisation stirred trouble there three to four days ago. The police has registered cases against them. We need to see who these forces are.
Sharad Pawar, NCP chief

Pawar also blamed the administration for the violence and demanded a probe into the incident.

Appealing for peace, the NCP chief said such situations need to be defused patiently by political forces and without any provocative speeches being made.

Pawar tweeted that "the violence was not right.”

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Since the administration did not take precautions, rumours and misunderstanding spread. A youth in Nanded died unfortunately. People from political and social field should defuse the situation harmoniously and patiently without making provocative speeches.
Sharad Pawar

Earlier, Pawar told reporters that every year people converge at the place and there were no incidents of violence before. This year, being the 200th anniversary, more people were expected and more attention was needed, he added.

Pawar also demanded that the government probe the violence. Incidents of stone-pelting and vandalism were reported in Bhima Koregaon in Shiroor tehsil on Monday, 1 January, when people were heading to the war memorial.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a probe by Bombay High Court judge into the Pune riots and said the family of a young man killed in the violence will get Rs 10 lakh compensation.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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