LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the other 'caste forces' of instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence.
“The incident which took place could have been avoided. The government there must make necessary arrangements to maintain security. There is a BJP Government there and it seems it instigated the violence there. The BJP, the RSS and other caste forces are behind this,” Mayawati said.
Earlier in the day, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the BJP and the RSS wanted to keep the Dalits at the bottom of the society.
He took to Twitter to mount an attack on the BJP and the RSS over the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune, Maharashtra, adding the protest over the violence was the symbol of Dalit resistance.
Tension gripped many parts of Maharashtra on Tuesday after the death of a youth in clashes on Monday during an event to mark 200 years of Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune. Several vehicles were also set on fire.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a Crime Investigation Department (CID)-led probe into the death of a youth in the violence.
The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the victim's kin.
The Battle of Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.
The Marathas ultimately withdrew, fearing the arrival of a larger British force led by General Joseph Smith.
The Company troops of Indian origin included predominantly Mahar Dalit soldiers belonging to the Bombay Native Infantry, and therefore the dalit activists regard the battle as a heroic episode in their history.