Bhima-Koregaon violence: Year after incident, victim's mother says 'no justice' until all culprits are caught
A year after the gruesome killing of her elder son Rahul Phatangade in the violence near Bhima Koregaon war memorial in Pune district, his mother is yet to come to terms with the loss
Pune: A year after the gruesome killing of her elder son Rahul Phatangade in the violence near Bhima Koregaon war memorial in Pune district, his mother is yet to come to terms with the loss.
Until all the culprits are caught, no justice will be done, says 57-year-old Janabai, Rahul's mother.
Phatangade (30), resident of Kanur Mesai, a small hamlet in Shirur tehsil, was killed by a mob armed with stones and sticks at Sanaswadi during the Bhima Koregaon violence on January 1, 2018.
Janabai, who lives alone after the death of her elder son, said there was an entire mob which beat and killed her son mercilessly, but the police have failed to arrest the main culprits.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which is probing the murder has arrested three persons who were allegedly part of the mob.
"There is not a single day when I do not remember my son.....he was everything to me. They (the government) talk about compensation but even crores of rupees will not bring my son back," said Janabai while lighting a small oil lamp in front of her son's framed photograph.
"They should capture all the killers. I want to see all of them punished in front of my eyes," she said.
If all the culprits were not brought to the book, it will only mean that there is no rule of law, she said.
Janabai's younger son Vishnu is a policeman, currently posted with the Pune Rural Police's Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad.
Rahul Phatangade ran a two-wheeler garage at Sanaswadi.
"The place from where he ran the garage had been rented. My son worked very hard. He had procured various tools and equipment needed for vehicle repair, but after his death, we have not even brought those things home," Janabai said.
One of Rahul's relatives alleged that the faces of the two main culprits are seen clearly in a video of the incident, but the CID has not been able to arrest them.
A senior CID official said a charge sheet has been filed against the three arrested accused.
"The process of identifying others who were in the mob is still going on," he said.
The violence at Bhima Koregaon was preceded by opposition by some Hindu right-wing leaders to the commemoration of the battle fought at the spot in 1818 in which forces of the East India Company, comprising Dalit `Mahar' soldiers, defeated the army of the Brahmin Peshwa.
The violence led to a call for Bandh by Dalit organisations and disruption of normal life in Mumbai and elsewhere.