“Involvement of radical Hindutva elements in Bhima Koregaon violence: Pune Mayor”

Written by Sabrangindia Staff | Published on: August 29, 2018
First Published on January 23, 2018

Evidence has been mounting regarding the involvement of Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote in Bhima Koregaon violence. In a ground breaking fact finding report, Mayor of Pune Siddharth Shende has alleged, “There is sufficient evidence against them [Bhide and Ekbote] available in the public domain in terms of audio-visual proof. The duo has played a major role in instigating the Hindutva-minded vandals to target Dalits and their vehicles and they must be arrested at the earliest. They had a major role in injecting communalism in the minds of the innocent villagers to achieve the objectives of extreme Hindutva,”

Bhima Koregaon Violence
Image Courtesy: www.justicenews.co.in

The ten member fact finding and co-ordination team was appointed by Pune rural police to find out the main cause of the violence that ensued at Bhima Koregaon on January 1. The committee filed its report on January 20.

Meanwhile, the Special Inspector General of Police (SIG), Vishwas nangra Patil however alleged that the report was entirely wrong and misleading. He said, ““The government will issue a clarification in this regard soon,” he said.
Deputy Mayor of Pune, Siddharth Shende who led the team claimed that the Bhima Koregaon riots were pre planned and unlike the portrayal by some sections of media, were not the outcome of a fight between Dalits and Marathas.

Placing the onus where it lies, Mr. Shende said, “A minuscule section of radical Hindutva elements had conspired and targeted the Dalits. The local police also failed miserably in maintaining law and order situation on ground. There was a significant amount of pre-event information available with the police but the local police did not take necessary action in advance, which could have averted the riots”

He also added that all the facts that the team received were of “irrefutable evidential value” and that these will help the police in arresting the real culprits involved in the conspiracy. “The Dalits had written their own narrative of history and valour, which was not supported by a section of people vested interests, who then instigated violence against the Dalits” he added.

Hence, he explained that the main demand made by the committee was to immediately constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to carry out an independent and fair probe into the violence, booking the culprits under the stringent sections of NSA Act. He also said that now the Dalits had to face boycott in these villages.
The fact finding team comprised of 10 members who visited the villages around Bhima Koregaon. Vadhu Budruk, Shikrapur and Sanswadi and other nearby places.

The team comprised of members from the Dalit community, including professor Rahul Makhare, MN Kamble, Vikas Salve, Datta Pol, Shyam Gaikwad, Ramakant Khande, Rajendra Gaikwad, Kiran Shinde and others.
The Akhil Bharatiya Brahman Mahsabha, the staunch Hindutva group demanded the arrest of Siddharth Dhende alleging that they were trying to disturb law and order instead of working toward bringing peace in the society.
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