The Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) has demanded action against those responsible for the death of a 30-year-old man during clashes near Bhima Koregaon village. The organisation has also sought historical confirmation of the claims made on the board at the samadhi of Govind Gopal Mahar in Vadhu Budruk.
Rajendra Kondhre, a member of MKM, said, “Maratha youth Rahul Babaji Phatangade was brutally killed in the clashes near Bhima Koregaon. His killers should be given severe punishment. The state should give a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.”
He also sought compensation for the residents of Bhima Koregaon and Ahmednagar Road whose properties were damaged in the protests.
The incident at Vadhu Budruk should be investigated and “culprits” should be punished, he said.
He added that members of the MKM had visited the village after the incident to resolve the situation through compromise. However, he claimed, the situation became tense due to negligence of police.
On December 29, a board was put up near the structure, believed to be the samadhi of Govind Gopal Mahar at Vadhu Budruk, located about 5 km from Bhima Koregaon. The board read that Mahar had defied the orders of Mughal king Aurangzeb and performed the last rites of Maratha king Chhatrapati Sambhaki Maharaj after he was killed by Aurangzeb in 1689. However, local Marathas believe that it was their ancestors who had performed the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj. They had objected to the board, saying that it was “false history with no documented evidence”.
“The police failed to provide adequate force despite the villagers’ request for precautionary measures. So, the officer incharge should be held accountable and face action,” he added.
Shantaram Kunjir, another member, said, “Those responsible for the clashes, including the ones spreading communal disharmony through social networking sites, should be punished.”
“We have been demanding that the Atrocities Act should not be misused. Thus, the demand to drop the charges under Atrocities Act would further be pressed,” he added.
Kunjir said the organisation had “always believed in peaceful protest and proved it in over 50 morchas held across the state in the recent past”. “We appeal to people to maintain law and order,” he added.
It was very sad that schools, colleges and educational institutes had to be kept closed on the birth anniversary of social reformer Savitribai Phule who played an important role in the upliftment of girls’ education.