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RPI (A) to protest inaction in Bhima-Koregaon case across Maharashtra

The party has also demanded that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act should not be diluted.

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2018 23:28 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Republican Party India,Mumbai,Maharashtra
Ramdas Athawale, chief of RPI (A) will lead the protest in Mumbai(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

In a bid to put pressure on the BJP government in Maharashtra, ally Republican Party of India (Athavale) has planned multiple protests on May 2 to demand the arrest of Right-Wing leader Manohar Bhinde, the prime accused in the case of violence that erupted in Bhima Koregaon on January 1.

“The accused of the Bhima Koregaon case should be put behind bars. The state government has been unable to arrest Bhide like they have done in the case of Milind Ekbote (another accused in the case). This has led to discontent amongst the people towards the government,” said Avinash Mhatekar, senior RPI (A) leader. Gautam Sonawane, Mumbai chief of the party added that the Bhima Koregaon case trial should be fast-tracked by the government.

The RPI(A), which is a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), is going to hold protests in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad and Palghar. Union minister for social justice Ramdas Athawale, the chief of RPI (A), will lead the protest in Mumbai, which will be held outside the collector’s office in Bandra East at 1 pm. Similar protests will also be held in various other parts of the state later in May.

According to Sonawane, they have also demanded that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act should not be diluted. “We have already registered our protest against the two Supreme Court orders on SC/ST Act, and the one on reservations. The community feels that the government is going to do away with the reservations and the SC/ST Act. We are protesting so that it is not diluted,” Mhatekar said.

Following the Bhima-Koregaon incident, the Ambedkarite parties in the state have gone on to capitalise on the growing discontent in the community. Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr. BR Ambedkar and chief of Indian political party Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh had called for a bandh in January across the state.

Politically, Athawale’s party has also asked for a berth in the state cabinet and a seat in the legislative council in the next reshuffle and the council elections. “As per our agreement, we are supposed to get a cabinet berth. We have been demanding one legislator’s post as well,” Mahatekar said.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 23:28 IST