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Sambhaji Brigade member ‘beaten up’ by Bajrang Dal men over Shivaji book, 4 held

The Bajrang Dal activists allegedly raised objections over an event being organised by the Sambhaji Brigade member and the title of the book ‘Shivaji Kon Hota’ (Who was Shivaji).

pune Updated: Feb 20, 2018 08:42 IST
Press Trust of India, Pune
Sambhaji Brigade,Bajrang Dal,Hindutva
Four members of the Hindutva outfit have been arrested under the relevant sections of the IPC for allegedly assaulting 39-year-old Sharad Pokharkar. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A Sambhaji Brigade member was allegedly attacked by Bajrang Dal activists in Manchar taluka following a dispute over distribution of a book on Chhatrapati Shivaji penned by slain Communist leader Govind Pansare, police said on Monday.

Four members of the Hindutva outfit have been arrested under the relevant sections of the IPC for allegedly assaulting 39-year-old Sharad Pokharkar.

Pokharkar, a member of the Sambhaji Brigade, Maratha Mahasangh and Jijau Pratishtan, distributes the book “Shivaji Kon Hota” (Who was Shivaji) in Manchar every year.

“This year, they organised a similar programme in a village school near Manchar but some villagers and Bajrang Dal activists took objection to the event as well as the title of the book. They forced the school headmaster to cancel the programme,” a Manchar police station officer said.

He said the situation became tense after Pokharkar allegedly exchanged messages after cancellation of the programme.

“On Sunday evening, Pokharkar received a call from the Bajrang Dal members who sought to have a discussion over the book with the complainant. Some members of the Bajrang Dal then went to Pokharkar’s flat in Manchar and started debating the book with him,” he said.

The debate soon turned ugly and the Hindutva activists assaulted Pokharkar and his friend, the officer said.

He said by the time police reached the spot, the Hindutva activists had fled.

Govind Pansare, writer of the book, was fired upon by unidentified assailants on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur. He died on February 20 in a hospital in Mumbai.

Role of some right-wing activists is suspected behind his killing, which is being probed by the Maharashtra CID.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 08:41 IST