hold/av/Bhima Koregaon: violence was orchestrated by Hindutva groups, finds Pune rural police’s fact-finding committee

Deputy mayor of Pune Siddharth Dhende, who led the committee, has claimed that the Bhima Koregaon riots were pre-planned and was not a fight between Dalits and Marathas in reality.

The ten member fact-finding and co-ordination committee appointed by the Pune rural police to find out the root cause of the Bhima Koregaon violence case filed its report and has stated that the violence was instigated by a small section of extremist Hindutva groups. The report has also recommended a reinvestigation of the case, booking the culprits under the stringent sections of the National Security Act (NSA). Meanwhile, the police have blatantly rejected the report and termed it wrong. Special inspector general of police (SIG), Vishwas Nangra Patil, said that the report was entirely wrong and misleading. “The government will issue a clarification in this regard soon,” he said.

Deputy mayor of Pune Siddharth Dhende, who led the committee, has claimed that the Bhima Koregaon riots were pre-planned and was not a fight between Dalits and Marathas in reality.

“A minuscule section of extremist Hindutva elements had conspired and targeted the Dalits. The local police also failed miserably in maintaining law and order situation on ground. There was a significant amount of pre-event information available with the police but the local police did not take necessary action in advance, which could have averted the riots,” he said.

Dhende further said, “All the facts are of irrefutable evidential value and will help the police in arresting the real culprits involved in the conspiracy and violence. The Dalits had written their own narrative of history and valour, which was not supported by a section of people vested interests, who then instigated violence against the Dalits ,” he added.

Dhende also explained that the main demand of the committee before the government was to immediately constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to carry out an independent and fair probe into the violence, booking the culprits under the stringent sections of NSA Act. The district collector must also visit all the villages affected by the violence and work towards strengthening communal harmony in the region, the committee suggested.

The deputy mayor alleged that Dalits had to face social boycott as elements belonging to Hindutva organisations were involved in the orchestration of the conspiracy. “The records were before the police but they did not take any action, which eventually lead to violence and disruption of communal harmony in Bhima Koregaon,” he added.

Regarding the role of Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, Dhende said, “There is sufficient evidence against them available on the public domain in terms of audio-visual proof. The duo has played a major role in instigating the Hindutva-minded vandals to target Dalits and their vehicles and they must be arrested at the earliest . They had a major role in injecting communalism in the minds of the innocent villagers to achieve the objectives of extreme Hindutva,” he alleged.

The co-ordination committee, comprising of 10 members, visited the villages around Koregaon Bhima, Vadhu Budruk , Shikrapur and Sanswadi and the other places from where violence was reported on January 1. The committee chiefly comprises of members from the Dalit community, including professor Rahul Makhare, MN Kamble, Vikas Salve, Datta Pol, Shyam Gaikwad, Ramakant Khande, Rajendra Gaikwad, Kiran Shinde and others. Dhende lauded the efforts of BAMCEF, an organisation which represents the oppressed and exploited communities in Indian society, and Sambhaji Brigade for explaining the correct history to villagers, explaining the role of Dalits in the Bhima Koregaon battle.

 Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Mahasabha demands resignation of Dhende 

Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Mahasabha president and staunch Hindutva activist Anand Dave has demanded the resignation of Pune deputy mayor Siddharth Dhende alleging that the fact-finding and co-ordination committee headed by him was disturbing law and order instead of working toward bringing peace in the society.

“Dhende’s committee should have had people from all communities and should have met people from all communities affected by the violence. He is making statements without any proof and is doing something which the government has not authorised him to do. He is doing this to gain political mileage out of the incident. The co-ordination committee’s duty was to restore peace and not find out the reasons behind the incident. The government is capable and responsible for carrying out the investigation and not the committee,” he said. Dave issued the statement after Dhende alleged that Hindutva organisations were behind the violence during a media interaction.


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