Bhima-Koregaon violence: 3,000 Dalit youths detained, no action against right-wing leaders, alleges Ambedkar
Ambedkar also questioned why an FIR was not filed into the death of a schoolboy in police lathi charge during last week’s bandh.Updated: Jan 10, 2018, 20:59 IST
Prakash Ambedkar, chief of Bharatiya Republican Paksh (BRP) Bahujan Mahasangh, on Wednesday alleged the Maharashtra police have detained close to 3,000 people, including 16 juveniles, across the state in connection with the January 1 caste clashes in Bhima-Koregaon village in Pune district.
“The police have started a combing operation. This is a military system in disturbed areas and cannot be conducted in civilian areas. They don’t have permission to conduct such an operation,” said Ambedkar.
Ambedkar demanded that Fadnavis, who also heads the home department order the police to stop the operation. “Why has the state not arrested Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote [the two right-wing leaders named in the FIR for orchestrating the violence in Bhima-Koregaon]? These villages [where combing operation is on] are being held hostage. Entry in these villages has been barred, which was not the case earlier,” he alleged.
Ambedkar also questioned why an FIR was not filed into the death of a schoolboy in police lathi charge during last week’s bandh.
Meanwhile, senior Dalit leader Arjun Dangle said, “The police and the state are not arresting Ekbote and Bhinde. Instead, they are picking up minors and making false cases against them.”
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party workers destroyed public property and damaged buses on the day of the bandh in Mumbai last week.
‘CM, Bapat face threat from fringe groups’
In a shocking claim, Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, said CM Fadnavis and senior BJP minister Girish Bapat face threat from fringe pro-Hindutva outfits.
Ambedkar said a Facebook post by one Raosaheb Patil, who Ambedkar claimed to be a “close aide” of Sambhaji Bhide, head of Shiv Prastishtan, a pro-Hindutva outfit, termed Fadnavis, Bapat and former journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni as “insects” that should be “chopped off”.
“Such posts are being circulated…I accept that there are differences, but never have parties tried to finish their opponents. These outfits are unscrutinised fringe elements that need to be stopped. At least now, after threat to his life, the chief minister will take action against the head of the outfit,” Ambedkar said.
Patil, in his Facebook profile, has described himself as a “staunch Shiv Sainik”.