Dismissing allegations that he had incited violence on January 1 in which one person was killed, Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide said on Friday that he was ready to face any inquiry, and demanded “capital punishment” for those
behind the violent clashes on that day.
Speaking in Sangli, Bhide, who leads Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, said Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, who had blamed him for the violence, was making false charges and needed to be probed. He also added that his name was being dragged into the incident as part of a bigger conspiracy.
“It (the incidents) should be investigated… Who circulated false messages on social media that I was going to deliver speech at Vadhu Budruk (the village which witnessed a clash between Maratha and Dalit communities on December 29)?” he asked. He said he was nowhere near Vadhu Budruk or Koregaon Bhima and had not said anything on the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, during which the clashes had taken place.
Bhide also said that the government should investigate whether All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was behind the riots. Bhide, along with another Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, has been named in two police complaints for inciting violence on New Year’s day.