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Maharashtra Police swoops down on Dalit activists

IANS  |  Mumbai 

The Police carried out multi-city raids on Tuesday against prominent activists and supporters in a fallout of the January 1 caste riots in Koregaon-Bhima, official sources said here.

The raids which started around 5 a.m. were carried out by several teams of the police at the homes and offices of various activists in Mumbai, and in an attempt to unravel alleged links with Maoists in these urban centres.

A raid was also carried out at the residence of activist in

Besides, the police also zeroed in on those involved or connected with the Elgaar Conference of December 31, 2017 held in which was addressed by Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid, activist Soni Sori and

The police also raided and searched the home of in He was representing several alleged Maoists in different courts, including the former

Searches continued at the premises of the Leftist organisation (KKM) and in connection with the Elgaar Conference and other leaders like and

In Mumbai, searches were carried out at the residences of Left activists Sudhir Dhawale, and The police produced at all the places and carried away laptops, literature and pamphlets.

The raids followed a complaint registered against the KKM and other activists for organising the Elgaar Conference.

Reacting sharply to the police action, termed it "harassment and diversionary tactics" by the government.

"Instead of arresting Sambhaji Bhide, alias Guruji, the main culprit who fuelled the Koregaon-Bhima riots, the government is indulging in these diversions.

"Police have already arrested Milind Ekbote, but not Bhide. The police must declare what evidence they have found against these people," said Ambedkar, grandson of B.R. Ambedkar, of the Indian Constitution.

Republican Panthers Party said the raids "are a serious matter" and expressed apprehension that the police are likely to arrest many activists involved with the Elgaar Conference.

Ambedkar had met on several occasions demanding Bhide's arrest, but the later gave a clean chit to the in the matter.

The Elgaar Conference was held in Pune's Shaniwarwada, later Koregaon-Bhim witnessed riots on January 1 which left one dead, followed by the retaliatory shutdown call issued by Ambedkar and other parties on January 3.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 19:58 IST