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Bhima Koregaon Battle

Bhima Koregaon Battle

Why in news: Release Bhima Koregaon activists: U.N. human rights body, OHCHR asked Indian Government.

About the Battle:

The Battle of Koregaon (also called the Battle of Koregaon Bhima, after the river Bhima that flows close to it) was fought on 1 January 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.

Led by Captain Francis Staunton, the Company troops defended their position for nearly 12 hours, before the Peshwa’s troops ultimately withdrew, fearing the imminent arrival of a larger British force.

The battle was part of the Third Anglo Maratha war, a series of battles that culminated in the defeat of the Peshwa rule and subsequent rule of the British East India Company in nearly all of Western, Central and Southern India. There is a “victory pillar” (obelisk) in Koregaon commemorating the battle.

200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon Battle

The Bhima Koregaon case dates back to January 1, 2018, which marked the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. The event was organised to celebrate the victory of the British, which included a large number of Mahars, against Peshwa Baji Rao II’s army.

Several human rights activists, including Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha, were arrested during the course of the investigation. The case is currently with the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

International Intervention

The OHCHR, in its weekly briefing, also reiterated the concerns that were expressed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last year about the arrests of activists in India and about the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). 

About OHCHR:

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was established by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 1993 in the wake of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.

Objectives of OHCHR

  • Promote universal enjoyment of all human rights by giving practical effect to the will and resolve of the world community as expressed by the United Nations
  • Play the leading role on human rights issues and emphasize the importance of human rights at the international and national levels
  • Promote international cooperation for human rights
  • Stimulate and coordinate action for human rights throughout the United Nations system
  • Promote universal ratification and implementation of international standards

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