Bhima Koregaon violence: Maharashtra govt to withdraw minor cases against accused; judicial committee to probe serious offences

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to withdraw minor cases against all accused in the violence that erupted during the statewide bandh called in the aftermath of the Bhima-Koregaon violence in January, according to media reports.

According to CNN News18, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday informed the Maharashtra Assembly that the government will withdraw cases registered in the backdrop of violence which killed one youth in Bhima-Koregoan. However, only those involved in minor cases will be let off.

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

In case of serious offences, the government formed a judicial committee that will decide if the cases need to be withdrawn or not. The government had appointed a two-member committee last month, under retired justice Jai Narayan Patel, to conduct the probe into the violence.

One person was killed and several others were injured in the violence which erupted on 1 January, after right-wing outfits opposed the 200th-anniversary celebration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, in which forces of the East India Company defeated Peshwa's army.

Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory, as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community — then considered untouchable — were part of the East India Company's forces. This led to widespread Dalit protests across the state for two days.

Police had later booked Hindu Ekta Aghadi leader Milind Ekbote and another pro-Hindutva leader, Sambhaji Bhide, at the Pune rural police station for allegedly inciting the anti-Dalit violence.

Last month, the Bombay High Court had refused to grant any interim protection from arrest to Ekbote. The Supreme Court is set to hear his plea on 14 March.

The government appointed judicial commission has been given four months to conduct a detailed probe and submit its report.

With inputs from PTI 

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Updated Date: Mar 13, 2018 16:48:21 IST

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