Bhima-Koregaon Violence: Pune rural police pin it on two groups, no role of Elgar Parishad

Neeta KolhatkarUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 05:14 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Superintendent of Police (SP) Pune rural, Mohammed Suvez Haq, in his affidavit filed with the Bhima Koregaon inquiry commission, has clearly said the violence on January 1 was ‘sudden’ and between two mobs.

“After seeing the sudden violence and incidents which occurred, we contacted the Executive Magistrate Shirur and took his sanction to use force to maintain law and order. This was done to bring the situation under control,” said Haq in his affidavit.

Haq further stated, the violence and break down of law and order was mainly due to two ‘mobs’ those with ‘saffron flags’ and ‘blue flags.’ The incident of violence began at 11.45am, when he saw a mob of 200-300 people on both sides of Vadhu square, with one group carrying saffron flags and the other carrying blue flags, which he says was the flash point of violence.

“From one side a mob carrying saffron flags came to Vadhu square, when Inspector Galande asked them to disperse. They began shouting slogans, when a group carrying blue flags came to the square carrying blue flags. They too shouted slogans. We called for more force as members of both the sides were not in a mood to listen. They began pelting stones on the villagers and people who had come to the war memorial. The mob went out of control and force was used,” said Huq.

The rural police affidavits have clearly stated the chronology of events with the timeline, the extent of violence, police deployed and the kind of force used after repeated warnings given to the mobs. This clearly contradicts the claims made by the Pune city police in the lower court, where they have alleged the hate speeches made by the activists in the Elgar Parishad held on December 31, 2017 at Shanivar wada, led to the outbreak of violence of Bhima Koregaon. This contradiction was highlighted by advocate Rahul Deshmukh in the last hearing this week, when he sought bail for professor Soma Sen, who along with other four were arrested in June. “In one state machinery, two branches of police, one city and the other rural, are contradicting each other’s claims. I stated in my argument, the police city have attributed the alleged hate speeches at Elgar Parishad led to the Bhima Koregaon riots. On the other hand, Pune rural police have in an unbiased manner stated the violence was between two specific communities,” said Deshmukh. He further questioned the government’s claims of the extreme left having allegedly abetted with the right-wing.

The other arrested activist, Sudhir Dhawale’s lawyer, advocate Siddharth Patil said one needs to take Huq’s affidavit seriously. “This affidavit is filed by a superintendent and no constable or lower ranking officer. We are glad the SP has given a true picture and we will be using this affidavit to support our case,” said advocate Patil.

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