Can Bhim Army hold Mahasabha at Bhima-Koregaon: Bombay High Court to Pune top cop

Mumbai: To get permission for a public meeting at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, the supporters of Bhim Army approached the Bombay High Court on Sunday, an off day. The HC directed the Commissioner of Police, Pune to appear before it on Monday morning and clarify if the outfit can be allowed to hold the meeting.

Datta Balbhim Pol, an activist approached a vacation bench of Justice Chandrakant Bhadang, accusing the police of acting as ‘dictators’ in ‘free India.’ Pol through his lawyer Nitin Satpute petitioned before Justice Bha­dang, by visiting his residence in Mumbai, on Sunday morning.

In his petition, Pol accused the Pune police of dragging its feet over the application by the Bhim Army seeking permission to hold a public meeting at Bhima-Koregaon, the place where violence took place and spread across Maharashtra, last year.

Pol said the Bhim Army’s scheduled Bhima-Koregaon Sangharsh Mahasabha, (fight for the SC/ST and OBC community against the abused and exploitation) was on Sunday. “Ho­w­ever, the authority neither refused permission nor did it informed us of any decision. We learnt about the rejection of permission only through a news channel,” the plea reads.

The meeting in question, will witness scholars in history and literature like Rajratna Ambedkar (Indian Buddh Mahasabha), Amol Meetkari and Sarfaraz Shaikh and also the Chandrashekar Azar, the chief of Bhim Army Party, delivering speeches.

The speeches will be made in the interest of all the downtrodden people. There will be no hate speech. The Bhim Army assures it will ensure no law and order is disrupted,” the plea reads. Accusing the state police of acting as dictators, the plea states, “The Bhim Army was to conduct its cultural programme at Jambhori Maidan in Worli on December 29, however, Mumbai police detained and arrested its chief and other office bearers.

The fundamental rights of these citizens have been violated by house arre­s­ts. They are deprived of the right to freely move in the country, by police, which is acting as a dictator in free India.” The plea accordingly seeks a direction to the Pune police to permit Bhim Army to conduct its public meeting at Bhima-Koregaon on Monday afternoon. The plea also demands a compensation of `10 crore to Azad and other office bearers, who were detained by the Mumbai police.

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