TWO women who filed the FIRs against Hindutva leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote in connection with the Bhima Koregaon clash insisted that their complaints were based on the “nightmare” they had gone through and they were not being directed by any political outfits.
However, one day after filing their complaints, they said they had not seen Bhide and Ekbote in the clashes.
‘’Our complaint is based on what we saw in Bhima Koregaon and Sanaswadi on January 1. Our FIR was not filed at the instigation of any leaders but based on the nightmare that we went through…. We strongly feel the violence was pre-planned by the two Hindutva leaders to wreck our celebration,’’ said Anita Sawale, 39, who along with Anjana Gaikwad, filed the first FIR against Ekbote and Bhide, accusing them of orchestrating violence during the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.
In the FIR registered on Tuesday, Sawale said she had seen the suspects named in the FIR “with her own eyes”. But on Wednesday, the two women told The Indian Express that though they had not seen the Hindutva leaders, their inflammatory comments had led to mob violence. “We did not see them, but much before our celebrations, they seemed to have planned it all. Their comments against the Elgaar Parishad (an event on December 31) are very much on social media…. Our leaders like Prakash Ambedkar have also said these two leaders are behind the violence,’’ Sawale said.
On Wednesday, a second complaint was filed against the two by Sushma Andhare, an office-bearer of an organisation working for the welfare of nomadic tribes in Maharashtra. “These two leaders (Bhide and Ekbote) had incited the violence through their supporters. Them not being there does not mean they were not involved,” Andhare told The Indian Express. “In the past, there was never any opposition to people going to Bhima Koregaon. But this time it was a planned conspiracy by Bhide and Ekbote,” she said.