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Vadhu villagers want atrocity cases to be withdrawn

Minister of state for home Deepak Kesarkar faces volley of questions from villagers.

pune Updated: Jan 06, 2018 16:58 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bhima Koregaon,Maratha,Dalits
Police force was deployed at Vadhu Budruk after the violence in Pune on January 2, 2018. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT PHOTO)

Pune The villagers of Vadhu have demanded withdrawal of cases against 49 people, which, according to the police officials and locals, triggered the violence that soon spread across the state on January 1. The police have booked the locals under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, after the notice board, located near the tomb of Govind Mahar Gaikwad, the Dalit farmer who had made arrangements for the last rites of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in Vadhu Budruk, that carried his reference was removed from the place.

When minister of state for home Deepak Kesarkar visited Vadhu, a neighbouring village of Bhima Koregaon, on Tuesday, he faced a volley of questions from residents.

Villagers demanded compensation to Rahul Phatangale, who died during stone pelting and registration of a case of murder against the suspects involved in his death.

While the minister tried to placate the villagers, they remained unmoved. It was at this moment that Kolhapur range special inspector general of police Vishwas Nangre-Patil pitched in and said that all their demands will be fulfilled in accordance with the rules and regulations. “Have faith in me and trust me that all your demands will be met,” the senior cop told the villagers.

After Nangre-Patil’s assurance, the villagers were convinced and Kesarkar proceeded ahead for further meetings. Kesarkar had earlier maintained that collateral damage was experienced while controlling the agitated miscreants. Kesarkar visited the violence-affected area of Vijaystambh, Vadhu village, Shikrapur , Perne Phata and Bhima Koregaon. However, at Bhima Koregaon and Sanaswadi, he remained inside his vehicle.

Bhima Koregaon was rocked by large scale violence after a group of unidentified people damaged vehicles belonging to the visitors at Vijaystambh on the occasion of the 200 years of the anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon on Monday.

Last week, a board was found put up near a structure believed to be the tomb of Govind Gopal Mahar in 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 the quarrel, which resulted in a police case.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 16:58 IST