Free Press Journal

Maharashtra Caste clashes: Police registers FIR against Sambhaji Bhide, Milind Ekbote for inciting violence


Mumbai : Bhima Koregaon clashes spread to Mumbai, rasta roko and stone pelting ensues at Chembur . Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai: The Pimpri-Chinchwad police have booked Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Pratishthan and Milind Ekbote of Hindu Ekta Aghadi for inciting violence. Prakash Ambedkar and the Dalit community has demanded action against the two and accused them of hatching the conspiracy behind the riots on Monday.

Ekbote is a self-proclaimed ‘cow vigilant.’ They have been slapped with several sections of the IPC, including attempt to murder, rioting, hurting the reli­gious feelings, etc. they also face charges under the Prevention of Atrocities Act. Late night reports said the police have been asked by right wing groups to lodge an FIR against MLA Jignesh Mevani and JNU student leader Umar-Khalid.

Also Read: Maharashtra Caste Clashes: Dalits protest across Mumbai in fallout of the Bhim-Koregaon violence

The complaint was filed by Anita Ravindra Sable, a riot eye witness. “These incidents of burning buses and attacking the participants at Bhim Koregaon were instigated by supporters of Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide. The rioters were armed with weapons and burnt vehicles to ignite panic and trigger violence. Their men also pelted stones at the people,” reads the FIR. The FIR further states, the rioters had swords, iron rods and petrol bottles which they threw at the participants in the peaceful morcha.

Sensing trouble, Ekbote issued a statement in his defence. “Samasta Hindu Agadhi condemns the incident that occurred in which an innocent man’s life was lost. This incident has arisen out of a misunderstanding. Some peripheral organisations have taken undue advantage of this situation and maligned my outfit and me. I am receiving threatening calls and abuses since then.”

He added, “We do not consider Dalits different than us, and there are a number of Dalits in my organisation.” Ekbote and Bhide, both entrenched in Hindu right wing ideology, are known to be close to the BJP. Prior to 2014, Ekbote was a BJP corporator in Pune Municipal Corporation; he later contested the state Assembly elections on a Shiv Sena ticket.