Bhima Koregaon violence: Maratha outfit demands compensation for victim’s kin

Sakal Maratha Kranti Morcha seeks action against those responsible for the rift between communities

pune Updated: Jan 06, 2018 16:59 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bhima Koregaon,Maratha,Dalits
Samadhi of Govind Mahar Gaikwad at Vadhu Budruk after the violence in Pune, on January 2, 2018. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT PHOTO)

Pune Following the violence in Pune and other parts of the state, Maratha outfit Sakal Maratha Kranti Morcha on Wednesday sought stern action against those responsible for the rift between the different communities and appealed to them to maintain peace and harmony.

The outfit demanded a detailed investigation into the Vadhu incident, where a contentious board was put up near the tomb of Govind Mahar Gaikwad. The members also demanded study by historians about the references mentioned on the board.

Last week, a board was found put up near a structure believed to be the tomb of Govind Mahar Gaikwad in the Vadhu Budruk village. The board said Mahar had defied the orders of Mughal king Aurangzeb and performed the last rites of Maratha king Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj after he was killed by Aurangzeb in 1689. Mahar is a Dalit community. Local villagers, who believed that it was their ancestors who had performed the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj, tried to remove the board, leading to a quarrel, which resulted in the police case.

“We demand a detailed inquiry into the incident and ask the government to bring the main perpetrators behind the incident to justice,” said Shantaram Kunjir, one of the convenors of the Morcha.

He said that the outfit demands withdrawal of the case registered against 49 people under the Prevention of Atrocities Act in the Vadhu incident, which is believed to have triggered the violence on January 1, the day celebrated as anniversary of Bhima Koregaon battle between the British and the Peshwas.

The Morcha has sought ₹25 lakh compensation to next of the kin of Rahul Phatangale, who was killed in the violence on January 1 near Bhima Koregaon, and also sought action against those who killed him.

“We also seek action against those who indulged into rioting and violence and caused heavy loss to the locals in Bhima Koregaon area and also seek that damages be paid to those who bore the losses caused by the violence,” he said.

Kunjir said that soon a joint meeting of leaders from Dalit as well as Maratha organisations will be called to ensure peace prevail in the state.

Another Morcha member Rajendra Kondhare said that public property should not be damaged at any cost.

Kondhare said, “We do sympathise with the sentiments of people from the Dalit community. However, we are of the strong opinion that public property should not be damaged at any cost. The caste and religion of the culprit should not influence the process of inquiry. Also, social media has been instrumental in spreading false information and escalate tension. Hence, a probe should be conducted in this context as well and the people involved should also be punished.”

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 16:32 IST