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After Ekbote, now arrest Bhide by March 26, demands Prakash Ambedkar

After Ekbote, now arrest Bhide by March 26, demands Prakash Ambedkar

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Grandson of Dr. BR Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar. (File Photo: IANS)
Mumbai, March 15 (IANS) Hours after Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote was sent to police custody, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh President Prakash Ambedkar on Thursday demanded the arrest of rightist leader and Shiv Pratishthan chief Sambhaji Bhide alias Bhide Guruji by March 26.
Tightening pressure on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine, the BBM chief served an ultimatum to the government to nab the leader within 10 days failing which he threatened a massive procession in Mumbai.
"He (Bhide) is also equally responsible like Ekbote and was involved in provoking the January caste riots in Bhima-Koregaon. Hence, even he deserved to be arrested and the government must do it by March 26," Ambedkar, who is the grandson of B.R. Ambedkar, the Architect of Indian Constitution, told media persons.
He termed it as surprising that while Ekbote was arrested on Wednesday, the other prime accused has not been booked yet, though the BBM has been raising this demand since the day of the rioting.
Ekbote's arrest followed two first information reports (FIR) lodged by Dalit activists Sushma Andhare and Anita Salve against Ekbote and the other against rightist leader from Sangli, Bhide.
The FIRs, lodged with Pune city police in early January, were later transferred to Pune rural police for investigations and further action. Ekbote was held from his home in Shivajinagar on Wednesday and Thursday, he was produced before a court which sent him to police custody till March 19.
Ekbote and Bhide are accused of instigating, planning and orchestrating the violence during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Anglo-Maratha War where the army of Peshwa Bajirao II was vanquished by a small force of the East India Company that comprised a large number of Dalits.
However, both Ekbote and Bhide - whose admirers include Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis - have vehemently denied playing any role in the January 1 riots and its subsequent fallout.
In a related development, retired supercop and ex-ambassador Julio Ribeiro on Thursday questioned how the state government could withdraw all cases - barring serious ones - registered in the Bhima-Koregaon riots.
On Tuesday, Fadnavis had announced in the state assembly the government's decision to withdraw all cases, except serious ones, lodged by police besides giving compensation to all victims who suffered property losses.
Ribeiro and others, through their NGOs, have filed a PIL in Bombay High Court contending that the Mumbai shutdown on January 3 was 'illegal' and the parties responsible for calling it must be made to compensate for the losses.
--IANS
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(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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