The Pune Police on Wednesday denied permission to hold Elgar Parishad event on December 31 ahead of the anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1.
According to ANI, several activists had applied for permission to hold the Elgar Parishad event, where several known activists were scheduled to participate in a closed-door program.
Earlier, former high court judge BG Kolse Patil had said that he will once again organise the Elgar Parishad this year. He also said that the venue fee for organising the Elgar Parishad at the Ganesh Kala Krida Manch in Pune was already paid despite having no permission from the local authorities.
"We have already booked the hall, paid the charges and sought permission from the police for holding the anti-caste meet. We will invite speakers who are progressive and speak against fascism. If the police don’t give us permission, then we will go to the high court," Hindustan Times quoted Kolse Patil as saying.
For the uninitiated, retired Supreme Court judge PB Sawant and retired justice Kolse Patil were the conveners of the first Elgar Parishad held on Dec 31, 2017. On the very next day, violence broke out in Bhima Koregaon during the annual gathering of Dalits on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the 1818 Battle of Koregaon Bhima. In the battle, the British army comprising a large contingent of Dalit Mahar soldiers had defeated the Peshwas – the Brahmin custodians of the Maratha kingdom.
Meanwhile, the state government has on Tuesday urged people not to visit the 'Jaystambh' in Bhima Koregaon in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. A notification by the state Home department stated that the programme to mark the anniversary will be shown live on Doordarshan and other media platforms, so people should pay their respects from home. The notification urged people to celebrate the anniversary in a 'symbolic and simple' manner.