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Bhima Koregaon violence: Victims approach judicial commission with affidavits

Till date the commission has received only seven applications from various Dalit organisations and victims

pune Updated: Jun 01, 2018 22:14 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,bhima koreagon,violence
Victims of Bhima Koregaon file a memorandum to Vivek Salunke, tehsildar at application receiving centre, located at the divisional commissionerate in Pune on Friday.(SHANKAR NARAYAN/HT PHOTO)

The Dalits who were victims and witnesses to the violence in connection with the January 1 violence in Bhima Koregaon area and its nearby villages have lodged their complaints and submitted affidavits before the judicial commission on Friday. The state government has appointed a judicial commission to probe into the violence that erupted during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district.

The application receiving centre, located at the divisional commissionerate in Pune, received seven applications from various Dalit organisations, including riot victims from Bhima Koregaon, Sanaswadi and nearby villages.

The applicants said that their business establishments were set on fire and the victims are facing ‘social boycott’ by local villagers.

Meanwhile, the state government has given a one-month time for applicants to submit their grievances on affidavits before a tehsildar rank officer appointed especially for accepting the affidavits along with relevant documents.

The first affidavit was submitted by Rahul Dambale, founder and president of Republican Yuva Morcha, on Friday morning. Dambale in his affidavit has demanded probe into the Bhima Koregaon riots and forensic investigation of an audio clip which, according to him, allegedly triggered the riots. Dambale has also sought that the process of affidavit submission must be made free of cost.

He said that an applicant has to pay around ₹750 for making an affidavit, including ₹250 for preparing the notarised document and three copies of the said document. An additional ₹200 has to be paid for typing.

“How can a poor riot victim pay the money to get his complaint registered with the commission. We have requested the government to put in place a mechanism where a full-time tehsildar must be appointed to take sworn affidavits after due verification of the complaint and complainant. Accepting this demand will help more victims to approach the commission,” he said.

Another victim Mangal Kailas Kamble in her affidavit stated that her house was burnt by the rioters on January 2.

“We were witness to the violence yet no FIR has been lodged in connection with the case. The police have done the panchnama (testimonial evidence) and the gram panchayat and tehsildar have also completed their probe, but no FIR has been lodged till date. We want the suspects to be arrested at the earliest under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989,” she said.

Kamble said that the local police were dilly-dallying in her case saying that her application has been accepted instead of lodging an FIR.

Rekha Gaikwad, another victim from Dingraswadi Phata near Bhima Koregaon, in her complaint stated that her two-floor mill was burnt to ash by the rioters in front of her eyes.

“I have no money left to look after my family and the total loss has been over ₹2 lakh. We want the state government to compensate us for and provide security from the social boycott we are facing in the area,” she said.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 22:11 IST