No Link Between Elgar Parishad & Bhima Koregaon Violence, Says Ex-Sr Cop: Report

The alleged Elgar Parishad link led to the arrest of 16 people. One even died as an incarcerated under-trial.

3 min read
Hindi Female
"In my investigation, I did not come across any material to indicate that the Elgar Parishad held on 31 December 2017 at Shaniwar Wada, Pune, had any connection with an outbreak of (the Bhima Koregaon) riots which took place on 1st January 2018."

These were reportedly the words of retired police officer Ganesh More, uttered on 20 December, before a Commission of Inquiry investigating the Bhima Koregaon violence. 

But is this all he said?

Not quite. According to, answering questions posed by an advocate, More reiterated:

"I did not come across any information or material to show that the incident of riots which took place on 1st January 2018, were the result of holding of Elgar Parishad on 31st December 2017 at Shaniwar Wada, Pune."


Why this matters:

The Elgar Parishad, held on 31 December 2017, at Pune’s Shaniwar Wada is alleged by the NIA to have been responsible for the violence that ensued in Bhima Koregaon on 1 January 2018. In fact, this allegation has led to the arrest of 16 civil society members - activists, professors, journalists, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). One of them, Father Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest, even died as an incarcerated undertrial in 2021. 

But why does Ganesh More’s testimony matter? 

According to, More was the Sub Divisional Police Officer Daund (in Pune district) and the senior officer in charge of the law and order arrangement (‘bandobast’) in the region on 1 January 2018.

As per his own admission, he dispersed a crowd of 1,200 saffron-flag wielding men who had gathered in village Vadhu Badruk that morning. Thereby, he was called to Bhima Koregaon where violence had broken out, and he remained there till 4 pm.

Subsequently, he was appointed in charge of the probe into the violence that had occurred that day. In fact, he was also the officer who had arrested Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote based on the first FIR that had been filed in the immediate aftermath of the violence.

Incidentally, the violence had erupted on the day of the annual Bhima Koregaon celebration and Ekbote is reported to have opposed this celebration.

More is reported to be an important witness for the commission and the cross-examination of his testimony has been underway since several months.

So what might have led to the violence?

After a violent dispute arose in Vadhu Budruk on 29 December, cases were filed against each other by the Marathas and the Dalits. However, given that the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle was around the corner, the police persuaded members of the two communities to settle the dispute.

In fact, More was part of the police team involved in the process of settling the dispute in the village on 29 December. According to media reports, he informed the commission that the police were worried about trouble that would emanate from the dispute in the next few days.

"We were discussing the law and order problem and the possibility of the outbreak of riots in village Vadhu Budruk and other villages between 28 December, 2017 to 3 January, 2018.”
Ganesh More

As per, More’s answer confirms initial reports linking the tension created by the Vadhu Budruk dispute to the 1 January violence.

(With inputs from

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