Bhima-Koregaon violence: Pune Police questions Elgar Parishad organisers, summons members of Kabir Kala Manch, Bhim Army

Pune: Pune police, probing the alleged "Maoist link" to the Elgar Parishad held in December 2017, on Wednesday questioned members of some organisations who were part of the organising committee of the event.

Caste clashes had broken out in the Bhima Koregaon village in Pune district on 1 January this year, a day after the Elgar Parishad was held at historic Shaniwar Wada in Pune.

 Bhima-Koregaon violence: Pune Police questions Elgar Parishad organisers, summons members of Kabir Kala Manch, Bhim Army

Protesters after the Bhima Koregaon violence in January 2018. 101 Reporters

The Parishad was organised to commemorate 200 years of the Battle of Koregaon that was fought at Koregaon Bhima.

As per the FIR registered at Vishrambaug police station, some Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) activists had allegedly made provocative speeches at the event on 1 January, leading to violence at Bhima Koregaon in the district.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Swargate division) Shivaji Pawar, said the police questioned members of various organisations in connection with the case registered at the Vishrambaug police station and their statements have been recorded.

Anjum Inamdar, whose Mulnivasi Muslim Manch was one of the organisers of the Parishad, said other than him, city unit president of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, MN Kamble; Bhim Army's Datta Pol, who was also an organizer; Akash Sabale, Ashok Kamble, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaychor, and Sagar Gorkhe of the KKM were summoned by the police on Wednesday.

According to one of the members whose statement was recorded, police inquired about the source of funding for the event.

Pune police had earlier claimed to have unearthed Maoist links to the Parishad.

The police on 6 June arrested prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, lawyer Surendra Gadling, activist Mahesh Raut, and professor Shoma Sen from Nagpur, and Rona Wilson from Delhi for alleged Maoist links in connection with the Parishad.

"While investigating the case registered at Vishrambaug police station, we conducted some searches at various places in the state. During the searches we found some evidence which was indicating that all those arrested had close links with the Maoists," Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Kadam said.

The Parishad was attended by Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, JNU student leader Umar Khalid, Rohit Vemula's mother Radhika Vemula, and Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh president Prakash Ambedkar.

Shaniwar Wada, a historical fortification in the city, was the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire until 1818.

The complaint against the KKM members was lodged by one Tushar Damgude.

The FIR was registered against Sudhir Dhawale, Sagar Gorkhe, Harshali Potdar, Ramesh Gaychor, Deepak Dengle, and Jyoti Jagtap.

The complaint had stated that the "inciting speeches and presentations" led to the violence. One person was killed in the caste violence between two groups near Sanaswadi, adjacent to Koregaon Bhima. The violence led to the statewide Dalit agitation.

The mobs had damaged and torched several vehicles and shops on New Year's day and the houses of local residents were also ransacked.

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Updated Date: Jun 14, 2018 12:17:00 IST