Thousands of Republican Party of India (RPI) workers today participated in a morcha seeking action against perpetrators responsible for the last week's violence against Dalits in Bhima Koregaon in Pune district. Local RPI leaders demanded that the judicial inquiry ordered by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis into the violence be completed within a stipulated time and the culprits be awarded punishment. The morcha was taken out from Vishrambaug locality of the city to the new Collector's office, a distance of around 4 kms. Fadnavis had announced the probe by a sitting High Court judge into the caste clashes that broke out in areas nearby Bhima Koregaon on January 1 in which one person was killed. The violence occurred during the bicentennial event to commemorate the defeat of Peshwas by the British forces in the Bhima Koregaon battle. Dalits view the battle as the defeat of "casteism" of upper-caste Peshwas. In the wake of the incident, various Dalit organisations observed a statewide bandh on January 3 which turned violent. The Pune rural Police had registered an FIR against right-wing leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide 'Guruji' under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and under various sections of the IPC including attempt to murder as one person was killed in the caste clashes.
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