Bhima-Koregaon violence: No evidence found against Sambhaji Bhide, says Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that the government has not found any role of Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, according to media reports.

"There is no role found yet of Sambhaji Bhide in the violence case, but the investigation is continuing", the chief minister said in the Assembly, according to ANI.

Bhide is accused of instigating the violence against Dalits during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in January, in which one person was killed and several others were injured.

The violence that occurred near the war memorial at Bhima-Koregaon in Pune district on 1 January triggered a sharp reaction from Dalit organisations.

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

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.

The chief minister's comment came a day after more than 10,000 protesters including the president of Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, Prakash Ambedkar had gathered at Azad Maidan demanding the arrest of Bhide.

Bhide has although denied the allegations. "I have already explained that I had nothing to do with the riots and I have not even gone to Bhima-Koregaon for past four-five years. Ambedkar has been uttering my name only for publicity and I am ready for any enquiry," he had said.

Bhide instead demanded the arrest of Ambedkar and other for inciting the riots.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 27, 2018 15:54:50 IST

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