Bhima Koregaon violence: As the protests by Dalit groups spread across Maharashtra leading to shutdown, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held talks with Dr B R Ambedkar’s grandson Anandraj Ambedkar, who heads the Republican Sena.
Bhima Koregaon violence: As the protests by Dalit groups spread across Maharashtra leading to shutdown, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held talks with Dr B R Ambedkar’s grandson Anandraj Ambedkar, who heads the Republican Sena. This is seen as a bid to pacify the protestors as Anandraj’s cousin Prakash was at the forefront of the Maharashtra bandh, accoridng to Indian Express report.
Apart from Fadnavis’ initiative, ruling BJP also has fielded ally Republican Party of India (Athawale) into action. Following a meeting with Fadnavis, RPI(A)’s national general secretary Avinash Mahatekar even lashed out at Prakash Ambedkar for “trying to build political capital by leveraging unrest within the community”. Flaying’s agitation, Mahatekar said, “One fears that the state’s social fabric is being destroyed. There is a feeling that this was being done to target the Chief Minister and put Union Minister Ramdas Athawale in trouble.”
Notably, Athawale leads the RPI (A), which is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). It has been Mahatekar’s own name has been doing the rounds for a seat in the Maharashtra cabinet for some time.
Incidentally, former Maharashtra Congress minister Chandrakant Handore also targetted Prakash Ambedkar following his meeting with Fadnavis. “In the backdrop of the violence in Bhima Koregaon, some parts in Maharashtra witnessed spontaneous protests. By calling for a Maharashtra bandh the following day, Prakash Ambedkar was only seeking political mileage,” Handore said. In another hard-hitting attack, Handore said, “The Dalit community alone was behind the success of the Maharashtra bandh.” Prakash Ambedkar has been claiming that other backward castes too had participated in it.
But these Dalit leaders too have demanded arrests of the right-wing duo Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote who have been booked by the police for the Bhima Koregaon violence. Handore said, “We have also demanded withdrawal of cases slapped against the protesters, and compensation to members from the community who suffered (in Bhima Koregaon). We have also demanded that search operations by the police to identify protesters be stopped immediately.”
An FIR was registered against Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid for their alleged “provocative” speeches during an event here on December 31, an official said today.
Both were charged for allegedly creating a rift and spreading disharmony between the Maratha and Dalit communities, he said.
Additional Commissioner of Police (South/North) Ravindra Sengaonkar said their speeches are being analysed and they will be summoned for questioning.
Mevani, the newly elected MLA in Gujarat, and Khalid had attended the “Elgar Parishad”, an event organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, at Shaniwar Wada in the city on December 31.