Elgar Parishad to be organised on Jan 12 in Pune
This year, the Elgar Parishad will be organised on the theme ‘Save the Constitution’Updated: Dec 07, 2018 18:23 IST
Pune:Even as last year’s Elgar Parishad held at Shaniwarwada on December 31 has been at the centre of controversy over alleged Maoist links, the organisers — PB Sawant, former Supreme Court judge and BG Kolse-Patil, former Bombay High Court judge — have planned another Parishad on January 12, 2019, days after January 1 when the 201st anniversary of the historic Battle of Koregaon will be celebrated.
“This year, the conference will be organised on the theme ‘Save the Constitution’,” said Sawant, adding that it may not be held on the large scale as last year and the venue and other details for the conference are being worked out.
“We have sought permission to hold the event at Shaniwarwada. If the police and Pune municipal corporation (PMC) refuse to grant us permission, we will hold the event elsewhere,” said Kolse-Patil, adding that the controversial Left-leaning Dalit outfit Kabir Kala Manch will not participate in the conference.
“We will be holding the event under the banner ‘Save Constitution Alliance’. Whoever wants to join us is welcome,” said Kolse-Patil.
Meanwhile, Ashok Morale, deputy commissioner of police (special branch), said that no formal application related to Constitution Meet or Elgar Parishad has been received by the police till date. “All necessary security measures have been undertaken to maintain law and order in the city,” Morale said.
On December 31, 2018, various organisations had participated in the Elgar Parishad, where “provocative” speeches were given, leading to violence at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018, according to a chargesheet filed by the Pune police against 10 activists arrested so far for the caste riots that left one person dead and damage to property worth Rs 40 crore.
Learning from this year’s experience, the Pune rural police plan to keep a strict vigil during the January 1 event at Bhima-Koregaon deploying 5,000 personnel, which would be almost 10 times more compared to last year.
Superintendent of police (Pune rural) Sandip Patil said additional force will be called from surrounding districts for the January 1 event. “There will be heavy police bandobast in and around Bhima-Koregaon during the anniversary celebrations. The State reserve police force (SRPF) companies, home guards and district administration officials will also be deployed,” said Patil.
The police have also planned to not allow any vehicle near the obelisk at Bhima-Koregaon where thousands of Dalits every year gather to observe the anniversary of a war between British and Peshwas in which the East India Company had defeated the Peshwas with the help of the Mahar and other regiments.