Bhima-Koregaon case: HC directs police to file report on Sambhaji Bhide’s role in violence
The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday directed the Pune Police to complete its investigation into the alleged involvement of 85-year-old activist Sambhaji Bhide in the Bhima-Koregaon riots and submit its report in a month.
A division bench of justice Ranjit More and justice NJ Jamadar, while hearing a criminal writ petition filed by Pune resident Anita Sawale, was informed by the petitioner, through advocate Suresh Mane, that the police had in June sought three months to complete its investigation and file a charge sheet or report, which it had failed to do.
The octogenarian, along with others, had been booked for inciting violence at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018, which resul-ted in the death of one. Although a case was registered against Bhide and others, the charge sheet spelling out his role in the violence hasn’t been filed yet.
In April this year, the Pune Police had told the court that the role of Bhide and other right-wing activists in the violence was being investigated and that it needed time till June. The court had granted time, but on June 16, the police informed the court that it needed three more months to conclude its investigation, which the court granted.
However, on Monday, Mane informed the court no charge sheet had been filed and hence sought directions to expedite the same. On its part, the state through additional public prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde submitted that the investigation was on in full swing, but it would only conclude by December and hence sought time till then to file the charge sheet or the report.
After hearing the submissions, the bench directed the state to conclude the investigation and file the charge sheet in four weeks and posted the matter for hearing on November 11.
A former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, Bhide is founder of an outfit, Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, which has been active for the past three decades in spreading awareness about the life of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji. He has a following, especially among the youths, in a few districts of western Maharashtra.
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren has questioned the lack of “official briefings” by the Enforcement Directorate on its ongoing raids in the state in connection with the alleged MNREGA scam. The series of ED raids in connection with alleged embezzlement of ₹18.06 crore of MNREGA funds started on May 6, when the federal agency searched multiple locations in four states, including official residence of Jharkhand's mines & industry secretary Pooja Singhal.
Armed robbers looted ₹37 lakh and gold worth ₹15 lakh from a Bank of India (BoI) branch in Bihar's Araria district on Friday, police said. Police said the crime was committed in just 10 to 12 minutes. Before fleeing, they took the digital video recorder (DVR) of CCTV cameras installed in the bank.
Bihar Police's Special Vigilance Unit on Friday moved a special court in Patna seeking a non-bailable warrant against the Magadh University vice chancellor Rajendra Prasad, who has been on medical leave ever since the investigating agency carried out raids at Prasad's' office and Gorakhpur residence in November last year and recovered huge cash, including foreign currency.
Ramashish Rai has been appointed the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of Rashtriya Lok Dal more than two months after party chief Jayant Chaudhary dissolved all the frontal organisations following declaration of the UP assembly election results. Rai will replace Masood Ahamad, who had left the RLD in a huff leveling serious charges against Jayant Chaudhary and his leadership.
The death toll in the latest suspected hooch tragedy in “dry” Bihar has shot up to 24 after five more people, undergoing treatment in Gaya, died on Thursday, according to locals and family members of the dead. The latest victims were identified as Nanhak Chaudhary of Chaudhary Bigaha, Ashok Paswan of Khiriyawan, Rambhaju Rikiyasan of Noniadih and Sanju Ram of Gunjar Bigaha in Aurangabad and Kailash Yadav of Pathara in Gaya.