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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Maharashtra allies appeal to Uddhav: Withdraw cases against accused in Koregaon Bhima case

Some of the activists arrested by the Pune police in connection with the case have also been accused of having links with Naxal outfits, including the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: December 3, 2019 9:36:50 pm
Koregaon Bhima, Bhima Koregaon, Bhima Koregaon case, Koregaon Bhima case, India news, Indian Express The Bhima Koregaon violence took place on January 1, 2018. (File)

Joining the growing chorus among Maha Vikas Aghadi allies, NCP leader Dhananjay Munde wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday, seeking withdrawal of cases filed against activists and others in connection with the Koregaon Bhima violence.

He was the third leader in the last 12 hours to seek Thackeray’s intervention in the matter after Congress minister Nitin Raut and NCP MLC Prakash Gajbhiye. In his letter to Thackeray, Munde accused the previous Devendra Fadnavis government of slapping “false” cases against social activists.

Munde alleged that the BJP-led government had “harassed” intellectuals, activists, social workers and ordinary citizens, and had labelled several of them as “urban Naxals”.

“I request you to withdraw the cases,” Munde said in his letter to Thackeray.

Asked about the demand to withdraw criminal cases related to the Koregaon-Bhima violence, Thackeray said, “The earlier government has already issued orders to withdraw the cases against persons facing minor criminal charges related to the Koregaon-Bhima caste riot.

“I am finding out how many cases have been actually withdrawn.”

Some of the activists arrested by the Pune police in connection with the case have also been accused of having links with Naxal outfits, including the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Nitin Raut, however, made it clear he was not seeking withdrawal of cases against those accused of Maoist links.

“I am not seeking withdrawal of cases of the Elgaar Parishad guys. I don’t know much about them. I am seeking withdrawal of police cases which were slapped on Dalit men and women after disturbances erupted in various parts of the state,” Raut said.

Gautam Navlakha, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Surendra Gadling, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira are the prominent activists booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

NCP MLC Gajbhiye said he wrote to Thackeray asking him to revoke cases against Dalits. Munde, in his letter, also asked the chief minister to take back cases filed against those who participated in the Maratha reservation protests.

Last week, Thackeray had announced that cases filed by the police against protesters who opposed the Nanar refinery project in the coastal Ratnagiri district and Aarey Colony Metro car shed in Mumbai would be withdrawn.

with PTI inputs

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