Bharatiya Republican Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar Tuesday threatened to launch a fresh and more intensive agitation if two Hindu leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote were not immediately arrested. Bhide and Ekbote are accused of orchestrating violence against the Dalit community during the celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon last month that led to large-scale protests across the state.
“By not arresting the two Hindutva leaders, the state government is only encouraging those who want to follow the methods adopted by Hafiz Saeed of Pakistan. I am trying to maintain calm by asking the people to show restraint but if the government doesn’t act now, it will have to pay a heavy price,” Ambedkar said while addressing the media in Nagpur.
Ambedkar was here for consultations with like-minded people on the fallout of Koregaon Bhima violence. The Dalit leader dismissed the allegation that Maoists were behind the upsurge in the recent flare-up. “It was a spontaneous participation by over 250 organisations,” he claimed.
He also claimed that the Koregaon Bhima event had been organised to build bridges among different communities. “But the Hindutva brigade gave it a communal twist and attacked the peaceful participants of the event,” Ambedkar said, adding, “The move to arrest some people in the combing operations subsequently is illegal and I would move the High Court against it.”
Ambedkar said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was not acting on his promise to hold an inquiry by a retired HC judge into the violence against Dalits following the Koregaon Bhima event. “The delay in initiating inquiry and arrest of the two Hindutva leaders shows the government is backing the miscreants behind the attack,” he alleged.