Maratha outfit demands Rs 25 lakh compensation for kin of man killed in Bhima-Koregaon violence

Pune: A Maratha outfit on Wednesday demanded a Rs 25 lakh compensation to the family of the man killed in the violence at Bhima-Koregaon and also sought withdrawal of cases under the Atrocities Act filed against 49 people for an incident which took place late last month.

The Sakal Maratha Kranti Morcha sought stern action against those responsible for creating a rift between different sections of the society and appealed to its community members to maintain peace and harmony.

Protesters observing Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday. 101reporters/ Geeta Desai

Protesters observing Maharashtra bandh on Wednesday. 101reporters/ Geeta Desai

The outfit also sought a detailed investigation into an incident at Vadhu Budruk village near Bhima Koregoan, where the 'samadhi' of Govind Gaikwad, a Mahar (Dalit), was damaged and a contentious board put up.

"We demand a detailed inquiry into the incident and ask the government to bring its main perpetrators to justice," said Shantaram Kunjir, a convener of the Morcha.

On 30 December, a board was found put up near what is believed to be the tomb of Gaikwad. The board said Gaikwad 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.

People, who believed it was their ancestors who had performed the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj, tried to remove the board, leading to an altercation. This resulted in police filing a case under the SC/ST (Preventions of Atrocities) Act against 49 people.

The incident in Vadhu Budruk is believed to have triggered the caste clashes in Bhima-Koregaon on 1 January.

"We demand the veracity of the claims made in the board be checked with the help of historians," said Kunjir.

He said the outfit wants the withdrawal of the case filed against 49 people under the Atrocities Act.

"We also seek action against those who indulged in rioting and caused heavy losses to the locals in Bhima-Koregaon. Damages should be paid to those who suffered losses," he said.

A man, identified as Rahul Phatangale, killed in the violence at Bhima Koregaon.

Kunjir said the government should pay a Rs 25 lakh compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased and take action against those who killed him.

The violence erupted when Dalit groups were celebrating the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in which the forces of the British East India Company defeated the Peshwa's army.

Right-wing groups have been blamed for the clashes.

Kunjir said a joint meeting of leaders from Dalit and Maratha organisations will be called soon to discuss ways to maintain peace in the state.

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2018 22:17:30 IST

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