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Bhima Koregaon: all cases barring serious ones to be withdrawn

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Minister Devendra today announced withdrawal of all cases, except serious ones, in connection with the violence at Bhima-in district on January 1 this year.

Speaking in the Legislative Council, also said that the loss of property worth Rs 13 crore during the violence will be compensated by the

"We will form a committee under Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) to assess serious offences that were committed during the episode," he said.

"This committee will submit recommendations to a cabinet sub-committee which will then decide whether the serious cases (too) should be withdrawn. The committee will submit its report in three months," the minister said.

Violence erupted when thousands of Dalits were visiting a war memorial at Bhima on January 1 this year. Some pro-Hindutva outfits had opposed the celebration of the 1818 battle at Bhima

While a total of 622 cases were registered, around 350 of them were related to serious offences, the minister told the of legislature today.

As many as 1,119 people were arrested, he said, adding that seventeen cases were registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and 2,053 people were taken into preventive custody.

"The government will not withdraw the cases against history-sheeters who took advantage of the situation and indulged in looting," the chief minister said.

Property loss of Rs 13 crore was reported from Bhima-Koregaon, Vadhu, Sanasgaon and some other villages in the vicinity, he said, adding that compensation will be paid to those whose properties were destroyed or damaged.

The chief minister denied Opposition's allegation that the government didn't act immediately against Milind Ekbote, chief of Samasta Hindu Ekta Aghadi, after the violence and allowed him to roam free. police have registered a case against him and another leader, Sambhaji Bhide, for allegedly inciting the violence.

"The police raided all hotels and lodges in and Kolhapur in search of Ekbote. Combing operations were conducted, Ekbote's followers were detained and more than 100 call records were examined to track down the accused. However, they failed to locate him," said.

"In the meantime, Ekbote secured anticipatory bail from the Supreme Court," he said, adding that the Attorney General would be seeking permission from the apex court for his arrest and custodial interrogation.

Congress's in the said Ekbote had addressed a press conference two days before the violence, but no action was taken against him.

The administration can not get away with such negligence, he said.

Fadnavis assured that those responsible for negligence will be dealt with strictly.

Referring to another issue raised byRanpise, Fadnavis announced that the will take control of the Samadhi (memorial) of Chhatrapati Sambhaji at Vadhu.

Ranpise had alleged that Ekbote's organisation had taken control of the Samadhi.

When NCP's asked whether the government will take action against of Shiv Pratishthan, Fadnavis said, "Those responsible for the violence will have to face action regardless of their caste, religion and ideology."

of Opposition Dhananjay Munde alleged that after the violence, some women were harassed during the combing operations in Aurangabad (to arrest rioters), and demanded inquiry.

Fadnavis accepted the demand.

Dalits commemorate the victory of Company forces over at Bhima Koregaon in 1818, as the British forces included a contingent of Mahars, then considered an untouchable community.

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

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 18:55 IST