Probe role of far right and govt functionaries in Bhima Koregaon riots: Prakash Ambedkar

Ambedkar filed affidavit five years after Bhima Koregaon violence which left 1 person dead and several others injured during the bicentennial celebrations of the battle of Bhima Koregaon in 2018

 Prakash Ambedkar (Photo: IANS)
Prakash Ambedkar (Photo: IANS)

Nadeem Inamdar

Prakash Ambedkar, President of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) in an affidavit before the Bhima Koregaon Commission submitted on July 24 has stated the that there was need to probe the involvement of far-right Hindutva organisations and their nexus with the functionaries inside the government for their role in the Bhima Koregaon riots.

Ambedkar demanded that responsibilities need to be fixed on those agencies for their failure in containing the situation. He mooted calling the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, former Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick, the then Pune Rural SP Mohammad Suvez Haque and former Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla as witnesses before the commission.

Ambedkar filed his affidavit five years after the Bhima Koregaon violence which left one person dead and several others injured during the bicentennial celebrations of the battle of Bhima Koregaon on Jan 1, 2018. Later, the state government headed by CM Fadnavis ordered setting up of a two-member commission comprising members Sumit Mullick (former chief secretary) and Jusict (retd) J N Patel to investigate the violent incident on Jan 1 and Jan 3, 2018, a day after the Elgar Parishad  Conclave was held at the historic Shaniwarwada in Pune on Dec 13, 2017.

Ambedkar reiterated that there was a need to go to the roots to find out those behind the riots and fix responsibilities on them to prevent a repeat of Bhima Koregaon violence like incident. Ambedkar asked said that former Pune police commissioner must be questioned over the reason why Elgar Parishad was projected as an urban naxal event. “ On Dec 31, 2017 riots did not take place in Pune and did riots take place in the city next day. If not then the then Pune police chief must be questioned over this ,” he stated in the affidavit.

Ambedkar also demanded that role of the village sarpanchs who moved a motion  banning the Bhima Koregaon celebrations at Bhima Koregaon must be questioned and summoned as witnessed before the commission. He also questioned whether junior police officials informed the police station in-charge about something untoward happening on Jan 1, 2018 and if the police station in-charge had informed his seniors about such a news. The affidavit demanded a inquiry into the said aspect.

Regarding intelligence failure, Ambedkar stated in the affidavit “ Did the DG (Intelligence) had information that something would happen on Jan 1, 2018. If information was available then what action was taken. An inquiry is needed ,” affidavit.

The Supreme Court only last week allowed bail to two of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case where it held the National Investigation Agency had failed to provide substantial proof against them.

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