Sujat Ambedkar, son of Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar, led a massive bike rally from Pune Station to Bhima Koregaon on the eve of the 206th anniversary of the historic Bhima Koregaon battle.
Annually, on the commemoration of the battle fought on January 1, 1818, between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, hundreds of thousands assemble at the 'Jay Stambh' to pay homage.
VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar also paid tributes at the 'Jay Stambh'. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), he posted a picture and wrote, "We are not foxes but lions! Never forget this, my people. 'They' have turned a blind eye to our strength but we all know what wonders we can do. Glory will be ours. Jai Bhim!"
Elaborate security arrangements were made around the memorial, located near Perne village on the Pune-Ahmednagar road.
Approximately 5,000 police personnel, including State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) battalions, alongside bomb detection and disposal squads, have been stationed at the 'Jay Stambh' and areas around Bhima Koregaon and Vadhu Budruk villages to uphold law and order throughout the event.
Drones and CCTV cameras are being utilised for monitoring suspicious activities in the vicinity
As a precautionary measure, authorities have issued notices to various individuals, including activists from different groups, local residents, and others involved in cases related to the Bhima Koregaon violence. They have been instructed to avoid the region on the day of the event.
A Pune police official said they are anticipating more than 10 lakh visitors at the memorial this year.