The Koregaon-Bhima caste violence in Pune district, the arrest of Left-wing activists for alleged Maoist links and of members of Hindutva outfits after the seizure of explosives made news in Maharashtra in 2018. The year began on a violent note after caste riots at Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district on January 1.
In the 1818 Koregaon-Bhima battle, the then Peshwa rulers were defeated by the British army comprising a large number of Dalit soldiers. Every year, the battle anniversary is marked by thousands of Dalits marching from Pune to the war memorial at Koregaon-Bhima.
Activists Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, and Mahesh Raut were arrested on charges of inciting the Koregaon-Bhima riots, in which one person was killed and several others were injured. In November, the Maharashtra police filed a 5,600-page charge sheet at a Pune court. It went beyond the caste violence and alleged a Maoist conspiracy to stage violent attacks, including a plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police filed evidence including purported seizures from raids on the activists, letters, call record details, statements of police officers and people involved in the organisation of Elgar Parishad - an event held on December 31 in Pune to mark the anniversary of the Koregaon-Bhima battle.
In December, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad filed charge sheet against 12 persons, saying they purportedly conspired to use ammunition including country-made pistols and bombs to target those who speak or write against the 'Hindu Dharma'. The ATS said a significant amount of ammunition was seized from the accused in several raids.
The accused were influenced by a book titled Kshatra Dharma Sadhana, published by the Sanatan Sanstha, which calls on Hindus to unite to establish a Hindu Rashtra, the ATS said.
On July 1, five men of a nomadic tribe were lynched by a mob in Dhule district on suspicion of being child-lifters. They were pounced upon, stoned and thrashed with sticks and chappals. Police said altogether 10 persons were lynched in the state in July-August.
In a big success for anti-Naxal operations, 37 Maoists were killed in two separate encounters in Gadchiroli district on April 22 and 23. In May, the suicide of Additional Director General of Police Himanshu Roy in Mumbai came as a shocker to many in the police department. The 1988-batch IPS officer and former state ATS chief shot himself with his service revolver.
The custodial death of a 26-year-old youth at Sangli in western Maharashtra prompted the National Human Rights Commission to seek a report from Maharashtra police chief. Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, was brought to Mumbai to confront Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea in connection with the INX media probe.
In May, Beed constable Lalita Salves four-yearlong battle against the system and with herself ended with a gender reassignment surgery at St Georges Hospital in Mumbai. Salve, 29, grappled with gender identity issues for years but was determined to live life and work, as a man. The surgery lasted about three hours. Now Lalita has become Lalit and works in Beed as a male police constable.
In a shot in the arm for investigating agencies, an aide of underworld don and 1993 Mumbai serial blasts prime accused Dawood Ibrahim was extradited to India. Farooq Takla was deported from Dubai and brought to Mumbai in March.
In August, a property in Mumbai belonging to Dawood Ibrahim Masulla Building, known as Amina Mansion on Pakmodia Street was sold to the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust for Rs 3.51 crore in an auction. In September, the body of HDFC Bank vice president Siddharth Sanghvi, who was missing for a week, was found in Mumbai and the man who killed him was arrested. The 39-year-old was suspected to have been killed in a robbery. In September, in a major breakthrough in the unsolved rape and murder cases of 2010, involving two juvenile girls in Kurla, the Navi Mumbai police arrested 34-year-old Rehan Abdul Rashid Qureshi.