Free Press Journal

Prakash Ambedkar meets Maha CM; says government promised action in Pune unrest case


Bhima-Koregaon Violence, Prakash ambedkar, Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, government, Bhima-Koregaon riots, Sambhaji Bhide, caste riots,

Mumbai: Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, whose bandh call had crippled Mumbai, today said the Maharashtra government has agreed to initiate action against those who instigated caste violence in Pune district.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has agreed to initiate action against those responsible for the January 1 violence at Bhima-Koregaon village near Pune that led to the death of one person and damage to property, he said here.

Ambedkar, who heads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), was talking to reporters after meeting Fadnavis.

The BJP-led state government has ordered a judicial probe into the violence that erupted when Dalit organisations 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 in the city.

“A discussion has been held with the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court to recommend a panel of judges. One of the judges will head the inquiry commission,” Ambedkar said, giving details of his talks with the chief minister.

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The panel will have powers to recommend penal action, said the grandson of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar.

“I do not know whether the state is going to arrest Sambhaji Bhidem or not,” he said, referring to the right-wing leader, who among others, has been blamed for the caste unrest.

The police denying permission to a programme, where Gujarat MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani and JNU student union leader Umar Khalid were scheduled to speak, also figured in the talks between Ambedkar and Fadnavis.

Commenting on the matter, Ambedkar said, “It was discussed with Fadnavis. He told us it was not the right time to hold such an event. I think such an event can be organised some time later”.

He said Dalit protesters were not linked to any Naxal movement or terror group.

Ambedkar said the chief minister assured him that no search orders would be given against the protesters.

Mumbai came to a standstill yesterday during a state-wide bandh called by the Ambedkar-led BBM to protest the state government’s “failure” to stop the violence at Bhima Koregaon.

Large parts of Maharashtra were affected by the shutdown, which was supported by various Dalit groups.